The Dakar Rally is an annual rally raid where, in the past, participants traditionally drove from Paris to Dakar over 12 days. Currently, the entire race is held in Saudi Arabia due to unrest in Mauritania, where drivers would have to cross. The rally is completed using extremely modified off-road vehicles and motorcycles as the terrain is very tough and dangerous.

How It Works

The Dakar Rally covers thousands of kilometres over 10-12 days and, in the past, crossed multiple countries. There is one stage each day which can include on and off-road sections. The type of stage is determined by sporting penalties as well as the special stage times.

One of the challenges of the race is navigation, as participants have to orientate themselves and find their way through the race with a roadbook given to participants. These books are provided at each stage, so the actual course of the race is unknown until the crews receive them.

Each day’s starting positions are determined by how well participants did in the previous day’s timed section. This includes if racers have sporting penalties such as missing waypoints or link sector speeding. There is also a special marathon category of the race where competitors are not allowed support vehicles or teams to assist them throughout the race, which requires incredible skill and endurance.

How To Enter

Anyone can apply for the Dakar Rally as long as they hold an International FIA/FIM Cross-Country Rally license and are over 18 years of age. Prospective contestants also need to prove that they are able to cope with the gruelling and dangerous race by having competed in an event on the FIA/FIM calendars.

However, the organisers of the race have the rights reserved to deny entry of any competitor they deem too inexperienced in a competitive vehicle, motorbike racing or if they believe that a competitor is unfit to race. This is because the Dakar Rally is an extreme, dangerous and difficult race that could cause and has caused fatalities in the past.

The Dakar Rally is an ultra-endurance rally raid open to professionals and amateurs alike. This is an unforgettable adventure where people fulfil their dreams and can accomplish a huge personal challenge.