The Amaury Sports Organisation has revealed the 2022 route of the Dakar Rally. The 44th edition will take place, once again, in Saudi Arabia, continuing Dakar’s third chapter in the middle east.

Dakar Rally director David Castera hosted the presentation and demonstrated his and the organization’s appreciation to Saudi Arabia for allowing the Dakar to go ahead despite the pandemic, and recalled the event allowed fans to discover new exciting experiences, with last year’s edition being one of the tightest battles yet.

Castera started by announcing some changes to the Dakar Classic; he said the event with remain the same as last year but with added “novelties,” such as three choices of speed: slow, medium, and fast.

The navigation will change, as in some sections the most direct route will have to be used, making the course harder. The opportunity to have fun in the dunes will also be given but depends on the capacity of the vehicles participating. Castera announced there are close to 60 crews wanting to take part in the Dakar classic, making it even better than last year.

The Dakar director continued by announcing the 2022 Dakar route; the edition will continue solely on Saudi Arabia despite rumors of having parts of the course in Egypt.

Castera announced the Dakar rally will go “deep down” in the empty quarter, from which competitors had a taste last year. Ha’il will be the starting point for the 2022 edition, with the Rest Day happening in Riyadh and the finish in Jeddah. 80% of the route for this edition is new terrain for the competitors.

President of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation HRH Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud, said: “The Kingdom was able to attract and host the Dakar rally for the first time in 2020 (…) this challenging terrain is the perfect location.

“One of the most special things about the Dakar is that it introduces visitors and spectators alike to the sense of our nation. With its tolerant culture, rich heritage, striking landscapes and welcoming people.

“We hope that the Dakar Rally 2022 meets the expectations of motorsport fans around the world. We look forward to welcoming you once again to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the home of the Dakar Rally.”

Here are the new additions and changes for the Dakar Rally:

  • The electronic roadbook is going to spread to most categories, including bikes, but only for elite riders. It, however, will become mandatory for all drivers and riders in all categories for the 2023 edition.
  • The airbag designs for the bikes category will be improved and introduced in the 2023 edition.
  • The T1 (4×4) category will have a new sub-category, called the T1+. It will allow the vehicles we know to be wider (2m30cm), have bigger tires (37in), and a higher travel (350mm), To balance, the performance of the engine will drop.
  • Apart from the T1+, the T1-E will be introduced (with Audi as the manufacturer). It consists of electric vehicles. Dakar will demand all Elite / Priority drivers to participate in low emission prototypes from the 2026 edition. By 2030, the organization expects to have all categories powered by low emission vehicles.
  • The T3 category (lightweights) will be allowed to have a bigger gearbox flange (+2mm). Their speed will increase from 130km/h to 140km/h.
  • The T4 category (SSV) will not have any significant changes, as it is an accessible way of participating in the Dakar Rally.
  • New regulations for trucks will be introduced.

Important dates:

DateEvent
May 17Opening of registrations
NovemberFull course presentation
2nd week of DecemberBoarding at Marseille
26-28 DecemberVehicles arrive at Jeddah
31 December – 1 JanuaryScrutineering in Ha’il / Prologue
January 2Stage 1 start

The 2022 Dakar Rally will be covered in full detail by ASN Motorsports, officially accredited media for the event.

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