Dakar Rally is an annual event held by Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) that is owned by a French media group and it arranges several popular events. It is a rally raid or cross-country rally that passes from different countries to reach the destination. It starts from Paris, the capital of France, and passes through several countries to Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. This event started in 1978 and it is an off-road rally, which means the route is a rough one through rocks, dunes, and grasslands.
Details about participants of Dakar Rally 2022
The Dakar Rally 2022 was started on January 1 and ended on January 14 of this year. This 44th edition of the Dakar Rally was hosted by Saudi Arabia, supported by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation. This year, it started from Ha’il in north-western Saudi Arabia and ended in Jeddah, the commercial centre of this country and the gateway to Mecca. There are several stages of this rally and each participant needs to clear all these stages successfully. Anyone above the age of 18 years can participate in this rally.
Thus, there were 750 initial entries for riding bikes, quads, classic cars, SSVs, and trucks. We saw lot of race cars for sale in the area due to this event. There were 209 first-time participants and 130 highly experienced riders who have participated more than 10 times in this rally. 34 participants did not have any supporting team while the rest were backed by different racing teams. 60 female participants were also seen in this rally.
T1+ class big battle – 2WD & 4WD
There were more than 300 participants finally appearing for Dakar Rally 2022. They needed to cover the distance of 7500 Km in their chosen motor vehicle. However, there were more than 1000 people involved in this race, including the helpers of the drivers and support crews of this event. Hence, it was a large-scale event with modified 2WD and 4WD vehicles, which are easy to drive on sand and rough terrain due to puncture-resistant tires and slim wheelbases. Riders can upgrade the tires, framework of the traditional T1 cars, and suspension mechanism of their vehicles. Riders of 2WD vehicles could inflate or deflate the tires from their cockpits to boost the efficiency and fuel consumption of cars.
Endorsed by FIA
The Dakar Rally has been given the status of World Championship by FIA World Motor Sports Council in 2021. It is classified under the category of cross-country rally of FIA. Thus, racers participating in this rally are qualified for appearing in all World-class racing championships. In December 2021, FIA and FIM joined hands to form a series of World Rally Raid Championships, and Dakar Rally was the first in that series. Thus, rules of these rallies were drawn up by FIA for riders of all types of cars, SSVs, trucks, and LightWeight. FIM drew up the rules for riders of bikes and quads.
About some of the top class drivers
Sam Sunderland from the UK ranked the top among all riders of Dakar Rally 2022, who was recruited by GasGas Factory. Pablo Quintanilla from Chile ranked 2nd in this race and he was recruited by Monster Energy Honda. Matthews Walkner from Austria won 3rd place in the rally, who represented Red Bull KTM Factory. Adrien Van Beveren from France, John Barreda Bort from Spain, Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo from Chile, Ricky Brabec, Andrew Short, and Mason Klein from the USA were other top-class drivers of this rally. Nasser Al-Attiyah was the winner of the car race category in Dakar Rally 2022, with his co-driver Matthieu Baurnel.
How will the rally be judged?
Since the route of the Dakar Rally 2022 was extremely rough, the performance of riders was judged depending on their navigation and not the time taken for completing the rally. Only adults above the age of 18 were allowed to participate in this rally. They needed to follow all the rules set by FIA or FIM for this rally. If they failed to obey the instructions of the crew of this rally, they would be disqualified from the race. The Rally Director judged whether the race was fair play for riders and if they were abiding by all the rules. He also judged whether the behaviour of participants violated the spirit of this world-class rally. Reckless or dangerous driving on the rough terrain of the scheduled route could be considered as disqualification of drivers. They were not allowed to harm the surrounding environment in any case.
Dakar – Bikes race
Sam Sunderland won the Dakar Rally 2022, representing the Gas Gas Factory Team. There were 168 entries in the category of bike riders, among whom many rookies or first-timers were present. There were many experienced bike riders too, who had earlier won several championships. Bike riders used airbags for their safety, which were upgraded from the ones used in 2021. The routes for the bike race were different from those scheduled for the car race in this Dakar Rally.
How to watch the Dakar Rally?
Dakar Rally 2022 was featured live on the Olympic channel. It was also streamed live on the NBC Sports app so that everyone can watch this thrilling race. Highly interested people also visited Saudi Arabia, to watch certain phases of this rally. They bought air tickets from Saudi Airline, which is the flag carrier of this country. All details regarding the dates and routes of different phases of this rally could be seen online. Thus, visitors could decide their schedules and watch their favourite riders competing in tough phases of this prestigious rally.
Therefore, people from different countries visited Saudi Arabia to cheer for their favourite riders participating in Dakar Rally 2022. Many of them visited the Saudi cities scheduled for different phases of this rally, like Jeddah, Riyadh, Ha’il, Al Qaisumah, Bisha, Wadi Al Dawasir, and Al Dawadimi. As distances of these routes were specified, viewers enjoyed the races while admiring the landscapes of the desert or mountainous region.