Sports

4th Saudi Dakar Rally 2023 kicks off on Saturday

December 30, 2022
The Saudi Dakar Rally track consists of 14 stages. — SPA photo
The Saudi Dakar Rally track consists of 14 stages. — SPA photo

JEDDAH — The fourth edition of the Saudi Dakar Rally 2023 will start on Saturday and will last until Jan. 15, 2023, with 453 vehicles across various categories of the race, including 89 vehicles in the Dakar Classic race, with a distance of more than 8,500 km, starting from Yanbu.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Minister of Sports and Chairman of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee welcomed the elite drivers, riders, and navigators participating in the Saudi Dakar Rally competitions for this year, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

He said in a press statement: “We are proud of the launch of the 4th consecutive edition in the Kingdom, which reflects the continuous interest of our wise leadership, and the support of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who directly contributed to the advancement of the sports sector, by providing all capabilities, that would consolidate the Kingdom's leading position on the global sports scene."

He added: “The Kingdom’s hosting of this global event for the fourth time confirms its ability to organize international sporting events with high professionalism, as 455 vehicles will participate in this edition in various categories of the race, with a distance of more than 8,500 km, and with the participation of drivers from 68 different countries, who will race in new tracks different from the previous tracks by 70%, and includes many diverse terrain and natural areas.”

Prince Khaled bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Motorsports Federation and the Saudi Motorsports Company, said: “The Saudi Dakar Rally 2023 track is more challenging for the participants, and it keeps pace with the passion of the global audience who follows the rally closely, as we promise them an exciting adventure in the largest endurance race in the world, and I hope that everyone will enjoy times full of happy memories, enjoying the beauty of the Kingdom, and exploring its unique nature.”

The Saudi Dakar Rally track consists of 14 stages, in addition to a preliminary stage, as this year’s edition features new tracks that take participants from Yanbu on the shores of the Red Sea, passing through the Kingdom’s desert, to Dammam on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, where drivers begin the rally with an introductory stage of Al-Bahr camp in Yanbu, which is located in the northwestern mountainous areas, before heading to the far southeast, passing through AlUla, Hail, Dawadmi, Haradh, the Empty Quarter, Shaybah, Hofuf, and Dammam.

The Kingdom hosted the Saudi Dakar Rally competitions last January for the third time in a row, attracting a group of the most prominent global drivers, representing 63 countries from around the world, for 14 days across 12 stages and six categories. The Dakar Rally is one of the oldest races in motorsports, given its size and events. It is organized by the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), in cooperation with the Saudi Motorsports Company, and in coordination with the relevant local authorities. — SG


December 30, 2022
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