Dakar Rally

Publication date: 19 Dec 2023

About the Dakar Rally

The Dakar Rally is the most extreme rally marathon in the world, held annually in January. Due to the climatic conditions, it is a challenging event. The distance is about 10,000 kilometres long and includes both asphalt and dirt roads, as well as sand dunes, mountain passes and other difficult sections. The competition takes place over two weeks and participants overcome it in cars, motorbikes, trucks and quad bikes.

2024 Dakar Rally

The next Dakar will happen from 5 to 19 January 2024 in Saudi Arabia. More than 700 athletes from 50 countries will participate. The start will be in the city of Riyadh with the finish in the city of Jeddah, both located in Saudi Arabia. Teams from Russia, France, Spain, USA and Saudi Arabia are expected to be the most impressive.

History of the competition

The Dakar Rally was founded by French journalist Thierry Sabine. The first competition took place in 1979. Initially, the competition was held on the route Paris – Dakar. The first races were not supposed to be divided by categories and classes, so all cars and motorbikes participated in the general classification. In 2008, the rally was moved to South America due to security threats. In 2020, Dakar returned again to Saudi Arabia, where it is held till today. Interestingly, most of the competitors are not professionals, 80% of them are amateurs.

Competition results for the last three years

Year Venue Winners
2023 Saudi Arabia Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah, Mathieu Baumel

Bikes: Kevin Benavides

Quads: Alexandre Giroud

Light Phototypes: Austin Jones, Gustavo Gugelmin

SSVs: Eryk Goczał, Oriol Mena 

Trucks: Janus van Kasteren, Darek Rodewald, Marcel Snijders.

Classics: Juan Marera, Lidia Ruba 

2022 Saudi Arabia Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah, Mathieu Baumel

Bikes: Sam Sunderland

Quads: Alexandre Giroud

Light Phototypes: Francisco Lopez, Juan Pablo Latrach

SSVs: Austin Jones, Gustavo Gugelmin

Lorries: Dmitry Sotnikov, Ruslan Akhmedov, Ilgiz Akhmetzianov

Classics: Serge Mogno, Florent Drulhon

2021 Saudi Arabia Cars: Stéphane Peterhansel, Edouard Boulanger

Bikes: Kevin Benavides

Quads: Manuel Andújar

Light Phototypes: Josef Macháček, Pavel Viorel 

SSV: Francisco Lopez, Juan Pablo Latrach 

Trucks: Dmitry Sotnikov, Ruslan Akhmedov, Ilgiz Akhmetzianov.

Classics: Marc Douton, Emilien Etienne

2025 Dakar Rally

The Dakar Rally is a real challenge for athletes and technicians. It attracts millions of spectators around the world and is one of the most entertaining sporting events.

Most likely, the next Dakar will also take place in January next year.

Keep an eye on the dates of rally marathons and other events in our Sporting Events Calendar.

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