The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation has revealed the planning stage details for the Saudi Dakar Rally, prior to the commencement of the second edition of the world’s most competitive race.
The rally, which takes place over a period of 12 days, is one of the harshest experiences in motorsports. Participants are pushed to the utmost of their physical and mental limits, while they set off with their vehicles in a challenge against the scenic desert of the Kingdom with its more 7,500 km of harsh terrain and unique landscape.
Work is currently underway by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, which has been completed last month the still-secret track for the second edition of Saudi Arabia's Dakar in January 2021.
To plan the route, the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation team, supported by many government agencies, has spent the past six months planning and conducting surveys around the Kingdom. This was completed in several stages, with drivers and technicians traveling across the country in modified SUVs for one or two days at a time, assessing the course they believed representing the nature of the Kingdom and meeting the requirements of the Dakar Rally.
Although the final track remains a secret, the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation has announced that Jeddah will mark the start and end of the 2021 race, which runs from January 3-15, with a rest day in Ha'il on January 9.
The set of new racing regulations will include distributing the track brochure only 10 minutes before the start of each stage, which is a test of the contestants' navigation skills. And while the track brochure already highlights areas of danger, runners will now also receive audio warnings as they approach these areas to keep them alert.
To enhance safety measures for competitors, wearing airbag jackets has become mandatory, as they can reduce the severity of injury in the event of a serious collision, and their presence will be confirmed and checked by officials during the technical examination stage.
For more than 40 years, the race has brought immense excitement to drivers and the public alike, and has made its way through breathtaking tracks in the continents of Africa, South America and Europe.
The Dakar Rally is being held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the second year in a row as part of a 10-year agreement between the Kingdom and the Amaury Sport Organization, which has ownership rights over the Dakar Rally.