– Rally Dakar remains in Saudi Arabia
– Start in Hail, finish in Jeddah
Yesterday evening, the ASO announced the route and revealed the first information for the 2022 Dakar. The rally begins on 2nd January 2022 in Hail and ends on 14th January in the port city of Jeddah. The rest day will be taken in the capital Riyadh on 8th January.
After the route of the last Dakar led mainly through the rocky north of the Arab country, the organisation has focussed on the so-called “Empty Quarter” to the south for this year’s rally. As a result, there will be a sharp increase in the proportion of the route in the sand and dunes.
In the « Empty Quarter », the participants will compete in a marathon stage where they will have to spend one night without their team and the mechanics. In addition, the organization builds in two loop days where the teams and the bivouac do not move.
In the second week of December, the vehicles will be loaded in Marseille and taken by ship to Jeddah. There they can be picked up by the teams from December 26-28. Scrutineering will be completed in Hail from Dec. 31, 2021, to Jan. 1, 2022. After a prologue on January 1, the competitors will start the Dakar 2022 on January 2.
Saudi Arabia has proven to be a very happy stomping ground for X-raid so far. The team from Trebur has won both the previous rallies there with the MINI JCW Buggy.
Sven Quandt, managing director of X-raid GmbH: « This route looks very exciting. We have already been to Hail a few times, and the fact that they have selected Hail for the start shows that the competitors will be faced with more sand this year. Spending more time in the Empty Quarter is also a good way to make the rally a little slower again. The rest day in Riyadh is very practical, as it will hopefully give a lot of fans the opportunity to visit and get a taste of the Dakar. The finish in Jeddah is obviously great logistically for all the teams, and the finish and podium were rather special in 2021. Let’s see what surprises await the teams there next year. The hospitality in Saudi Arabia is remarkable, and X-raid is always happy to return – particularly for a route like this. »