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Dakar Rally will be back for the 44th edition of the race starting next year. The upcoming edition of the world's toughest rally will be held between January 2 and 14. Ahead of the race, the organizers have revealed the route and a couple of format details of the 2022 Dakar Rally.
Much like the previous two editions of the Dakar Rally, the upcoming race next year will also be held entirely in Saudi Arabia. The organizers aimed to add neighbouring countries Egypt and Jordan to the route map.
However, the ongoing pandemic has restricted it from getting added to the rally race. To keep the race interesting the organizers have promised the route will be 80 per cent unique. To make it more interesting, a couple of stages of the race will be held in the Empty Quarter or Rub al-Khali desert for some dune bashing.
The Empty Quarter was removed from the 2021 Dakar Route map after the death of Pulo Goncalves in the 2020 rally race edition. To avoid any mishap, the rally organizers have decided to keep Liason stages passing through dangerous sections of the Empty Quarter.
Participants will be completing three days of dune bashing at the Rub al-Khali desert before they are airlifted to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia for the rest day.
The 2022 Dakar Rally will start on January 2, 2021, in Ha'il, Saudi Arabia. The rally race will conclude in Jeddah on January 14, 2021. Participants will be resting in Riyadh on January 8. The complete stage-wise route is yet to be revealed by the organizers.
However, David Castera, Dakar Rally Chief, revealed that the entire special stage distance will be around 4,000 kilometres. While the Liason distance will be around 3,000 kilometres. The route will have two loop stages around the same bivouac site and a marathon stage inside the Empty Quarter.
The organizer has introduced a new T1-E category reserved for prototypes using alternative fuels. The organizer has decided to go completely go eco-friendly by the year 2030.
Also, this is where Audi will be making its appearance in the 2022 Dakar Rally with an electric prototype off-road vehicle revealed last year. It will draw the power from electric motors mated to a high-voltage battery. However, it will feature an onboard power generator in the form of a turbocharged petrol engine.
The 2022 Dakar Rally will see all participants in the car, SSV and truck categories using an electronic roadbook. The organizers will also be providing a different version of the electronic roadbook for elite riders participating in the bike category.
For the second edition of the Dakar Classic, a few rule changes have been made. This will help make the competition a level playing field despite various form factor of vehicles entering the category. The organizers are also hoping the number of participants to be doubled in this category.
Hero MotoSport has signed Argentinian rider Franco Caimi. He will be in his first outing with the team at the Andalucian Rally in Spain. Also, he will likely join the trio of Joaquim Rodrigues, Sebastian Buhler, and C S Santosh at the 2022 Dakar Rally.
Another change that has been announced in the bike category is the singing of Pablo Quintanilla by the Honda Factory Racing Team. The spot was opened up in Honda after the last year's winner Kevin Benavides decided to leave the team and move to KTM factory racing.
Harith Noah racing for TVS sponsored Sherco Factory Rally Team created history by becoming the youngest Indian rider to complete the Dakar Rally race. He is also the only Indian racer to complete a top 20 finish in the rally race. However, the participation of Noah is yet to be confirmed in the upcoming rally race.
Another Indian racer who participated in the 2021 Dakar Rally is Ashish Roarane. He made his debut at the 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally competing as a privateer. He joined the rally race in what is known to be the toughest class called ‘Original by Motul' previously called Malle Moto. His participation in the upcoming rally race is yet to be known.
Thoughts About The Dakar Rally 2022 Route & Scheduled Revealed
The world's toughest rally race is all set to make a comeback in the next year. The organizers of the Dakar Rally are forced to keep the 44th edition of the race route in Saudi Arabia due to the ongoing pandemic. However, they have added the mighty Empty Quarter for some interesting and challenging routes.