New Saudi Arabia course and regulations set to test pilots in Dakar Rally 2022

The 9,000 kilometer rally, which takes place over 14 days, is considered one of the toughest and most demanding challenges in motorsport

  
Rallying - Dakar Rally - Stage 11 - AlUla to Yanbu, Saudi Arabia - January 14, 2021 X-Raid Mini JCW Team's Stephane Peterhansel and Co-Driver Edouard Boulanger in action during stage 11. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Rallying - Dakar Rally - Stage 11 - AlUla to Yanbu, Saudi Arabia - January 14, 2021 X-Raid Mini JCW Team's Stephane Peterhansel and Co-Driver Edouard Boulanger in action during stage 11. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
LONDON: The Dakar Rally returns in less than 40 days in Saudi Arabia for the third consecutive time, from Jan. 1 to 14, 2022.

The 9,000 kilometer rally, which takes place over 14 days, is considered one of the toughest and most demanding challenges in motorsport, and will cross the most beautiful landscapes and archaeological areas of the Kingdom.

The 44th edition of the Dakar Rally features a completely new track that includes many areas encompassing different types of terrain, where competitors will face new tests. The rally will depart from the Hail desert, head to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, to enjoy a day of rest, before continuing their challenge on the Saudi sand dunes before finishing in Jeddah.

Off the track, the 2022 rally will see several major changes to its regulations, building on previous efforts to ensure equal competition opportunities, and in terms of navigation and to slow down the vehicles to make the race safer (in the motorcycle category).

While the course booklet already highlights danger zones, racers will now also receive audible alerts as they approach these areas to keep them alert. Dangerous and complex areas will be subject to “slow zones,” where the maximum speed will be limited to 90kmph.

In order to improve safety measures for competitors, it will be mandatory to wear airbag jackets, which will be checked and confirmed by the race officials during the technical examination phase.

The Dakar Rally is being held in Saudi Arabia as part of a ten-year agreement between the Kingdom and Amauri Sport, the owners of the rally.

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