Dakar Rally to move from Peru to Saudi Arabia
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The Dakar Rally is on the move again to find its third venue in a 41-year history.
First staged in 1979 as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the marathon event spent three decades in Africa before the most recent 11 editions in South America.
It’s now been confirmed the 42nd edition of the Dakar Rally will be in Saudi Arabia from January 5-17 next year.
There will be racing in the vast desert expanses of the largest country in the Middle East with a route that will test the stamina, driving skills and navigational ability of competitors in the car, motorcycle, quad, UTV and truck categories.
Jeddah, the economic heart of Saudi Arabia, will host the start of the rally before competitors begin a journey of more than 9000km and 12 competitive stages through Saudi Arabia’s mosaic of deserts, mountains, canyons, valleys and coastal landscapes.
The route will include the mountain areas near the border with Jordan that will take the rally competitors deep into a maze of valleys as well as the demanding dunes in the so-called “Empty Quarter” region — some of which rise to more than 250m high.
The massive future resort complex of Qiddiya, being built near Riyadh, will host the traditional mid-rally rest day.
Saudi Arabia will be the 30th country to host stages of the Dakar Rally.