Dakar Rally heads to Saudi Arabia in 2020 | News
After a decade in South America, a new chapter in the history of Dakar will be written as the world’s biggest rally makes its Middle East debut in Saudi Arabia next year.
More details about the event will be announced April 25 but Rally Director, David Castera if confident Saudi Arabia will present an entirely new and different challenge for Dakar competitors.
“Looking back at my first memories of the Dakar and my first experiences as a competitor, I’ve always considered that this rally like no other carried a concept of discovery, a voyage into the unknown,” said Castera. “By going to Saudi Arabia, it is, of course, that aspect that fascinates me. I’m convinced that such a feeling will be shared by all the riders, drivers and copilots. As the director of the event, it’s a massive challenge to be faced with a blank page with limitless possibilities.
I’m already inspired and delighted to have to design a course in such monumental geography, made for the most audacious itineraries. We are spoilt for choice. Sports, navigation, a will to surpass oneself: all these aspects will naturally be glorified on this territory made for rally-raids.”
The rally will no doubt feature more sand and dunes, something riders are all too familiar with after this year’s Rally in Peru. The number of stages the Rally will include is yet to be confirmed. This year’s Dakar featured 10 stages, down from 14 last year, so it would not be a surprise if we saw the event stretch back to two weeks plus one rest day.
Stay tuned for more.
His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud, Chairman of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority.
“The vision and guidance of our leaders have made our dreams and ambitions limitless and have set the sports scene in the Kingdom on a remarkable success route. Today we are thrilled to announce that Rally Dakar, an event with a huge global appeal is coming to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East for the first time. Our country is extremely passionate about sport and our strategic goal is to feed that appetite as we move further towards achieving Vision 2030, of which sport is a basic pillar.
In hosting Dakar Rally we aim to produce an unbelievable and unforgettable experience for drivers as they discover the beauty of Saudi nature and a unique spectacle for motorsport fans not only in Saudi Arabia but also in the region and around the world.”
HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Abdullah Al Faisal, Chairman of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation
“I have always wanted to participate in Dakar Rally. While I wasn’t fortunate to achieve that ambition, I’m now part of achieving a much bigger dream for my country as Dakar comes to the Middle East region for the first time ever.
The vision and support of HRH Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and the trust that GSA president HRH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Turki Al Faisal had put in us were key to our efforts to secure the hosting rights for an event of such a global magnitude.”