The Dakar Rally Organizing Committee has released — through a virtual press conference — the stages of the 4th edition of Saudi Dakar Rally 2023.
Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Federation of Motors and Motorcycles, who is also chairman of the Board of the Saudi Motorsports Company; Jan Luminaire, CEO of Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), and David Castera, director of the Dakar Rally were at the conference.
During the conference, the route of the new edition of the rally was revealed, which will be held for the fourth consecutive year in Saudi Arabia, from Dec. 31, 2022 to Jan. 15, 2023 with the participation of 453 vehicles in various categories of the race.
This includes 89 vehicles in the “Dakar Classic” race, with a distance exceeding 8,500 km, in a version that is the longest for the special stages subject to timing since 2014, and with the participation of drivers from more than 68 countries.
The rally track for this year consists of an introductory stage, and 14 regular stages, as the drivers start the rally with an introductory trip from the sea camp in the northwestern mountainous regions before heading to the far southeast, passing through Al-Ula, Hail, Dawadmi, Haradh, the Empty Quarter, Shaybah, Hofuf, and Dammam.
The stages of the race will be as follows:
– Preliminary stage (Saturday, Dec. 31): Al-Bahr Camp – Al-Bahr Camp, for a distance of 11 kilometers.
– First Stage (Sunday Jan. 1): Camp Al-Bahr – Camp Al-Bahr, a circular stage for a distance of 603 km (the special stage: 368 km).
– Second Stage (Monday, Jan. 2): Al-Bahr Camp – Al-Ula, 590 km (Special Stage: 431 km)
– Third stage (Tuesday, Jan. 3): Al-Ula – Hail, 669 km (Special stage: 447 km)
– Fourth Stage (Wednesday, Jan. 4): Hail – Hail, circular stage for a distance of 573 km (the special stage: 425 km).
– Fifth Stage (Thursday, Jan. 5): Hail – Hail, circular stage for a distance of 646 km (special stage: 375 km).
– Sixth stage (Friday, Jan. 6): Hail – Dawadmi, 877 km (Special stage: 466 km).
– Seven Stage (Saturday, January. 7): Dawadmi – Dawadmi, a circular stage for a distance of 641 km (the special stage: 473 km).
– Eight Stage (Sunday, Jan. 8): Dawadmi – Riyadh, 722 km (Special Stage: 407 km).
– Rest Day (Jan. 8): Riyadh.
– Ninth Stage (Tuesday, Jan. 10): Riyadh – Haradh, 710km (Special Stage: 439km).
– Tenth Stage (Wednesday, Jan. 11): Haradh-Shaybah, 623km (Special Stage: 114km).
– Eleventh Stage (Thursday, Jan. 12): Al-Shaybah – Al-Ardah, marathon stage 426km (special stage: 275km).
– Twelfth Stage (Friday, Jan. 13): Al Ardha – Shaybah, marathon stage 375 km (special stage: 185 km).
– Thirteenth Stage (Saturday, Jan. 14): Al Shaybah – Al Hofuf, 669 km (Special Stage: 154 km).
– Fourteenth Stage (Sunday, Jan. 15): Hofuf – Dammam, 414 km (Special Stage: 136 km).
It is worth mentioning that the Kingdom hosted the Saudi Dakar Rally competitions last January for the third time in a row, with the participation of a group of the most prominent global drivers, as it attracted more than 1,000 participants representing 70 countries from all over the world, for 14 days and 12 stages, during which the drivers competed in 6 categories.
Prince Khalid stressed that hosting Dakar Rally for the fourth time in a row confirms the Kingdom’s ability to host the most important international events, and contributes to consolidating its deserved position on the global sports map.
He said that due to the Kingdom’s capabilities and potential, it has made it a distinguished destination for fans of this sport, based on the nature of the rally as one of the largest and most important events on the motorsport’s agenda, leading to the diversity and geographical distinction of the Kingdom, which makes the rally stronger,”
He further said, “We have begun preparations with all concerned authorities in the Kingdom to ensure the provision of all the required factors and elements, and to ensure success in organizing in a way that reflects our ambitions and sheds light on the transformation march that the Kingdom is experiencing.
We have sufficient experience to provide a strong showing, reflecting the ability of the Saudi young men and women of this dear country to host the biggest and most important global events ever.”