New sands for Dakar!
ANEW ERA IS SET TO START with the rigorous Dakar Rally poised to make its way to the Middle Eastern deserts starting 2020. The organisers of the Dakar Rally, Amaury Sport Organisation, have signed a five-year contract with Saudi Arabia.
The 2019 Dakar Rally was the first of its kind, being entirely run in Peru, since countries like Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia failed the agreement with the organisers. Amaury Sport Organisation did, however, have an option of one other country in South America, but was ultimately forced to move their gruelling campaign to the Middle East, due to the economic instability in South America.
The first season in the Middle East will commence in January in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. An advantage for the organisers and participants was that Saudi Arabia has an abundance of deserts, 1.4 million square miles of it to be precise, enough to emulate the ones in Peru. The scorching heat and vast and unpredictable sandy trails, along with the dunes dotting the Asir mountain ranges located in southwestern Saudi Arabia will make sure the Dakar rally retains its title of the toughest motorsport event in the world. ⌧