Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel celebrate their victory in the 202nd edition of the Dakar. Photo: EFE
Six months before the next big adventure, the organization has announced the characteristics of the next Dakar, which will be the first date of the 2023 FIA-FIM Rally-Raid World Championship.
For the Dakar 2023, the caravan will cross Saudi Arabia from coast to coast, starting December 31st on the Red Sea beaches and ending January 15th on the Persian Gulf, in Dammam.
This diagonal, which will cross the country from side to side, will propose a complete circuit of 14 stages that will lead the race first towards the mountainous regions of the northwest, before heading south-east for a three-day dip in the ocean of the dunes of the Empty Quarter.
The Argentine Kevin Benavides greets the champion of the 2022 edition in motion, Sam Sunderland. Photo: Reuters
The beach and the return to coexistence will be the protagonists of the arrival of the participants in Saudi Arabia, since the new Grand Departure format plans to bring together the entire Dakar caravan in the same field during the second part of the technical and administrative checks (The first will take place at the Castellet circuit at the end of November). The infrastructures were redesigned for the occasion with the aim of integrating more spaces for entertainment, coexistence and interaction.
The Sea Camp concept consists of recreating a piece of desert by the sea. The adventure will have already begun.
1 + 14 = 15 days of competition
The Dakar 2023 stands out for its duration: 14 stages to which a prologue is added to translate into 15 days of competition. The route includes 70% of new special offers.
The format is also the densest that the rally has offered in its most modern phase, as most of the specials scheduled are close to 450 kilometers, while the distance of the connecting sections has been reduced with the idea of reducing the time required. cross these stretches and return to the bivouac.
In total, almost 5,000 kilometers of special offers. The longest distance traveled since the 2014 edition.
The protagonist will be the entrance to the area called “Empty District”. The Dakar competitors already know this immense expanse of Saudi territory called “Empty Space”, in the Arabian Peninsula, but the raids of the Shubeyta Marathon bivouac in 2020 or the loops traced by Wadi AdDawasir have revealed only a very small part of this huge desert.
A deeper dive will now be possible thanks to the fact that the road connecting with the neighboring state of Oman will allow for the setting up of a bivouac in the far east of Saudi Arabia.
Furthermore, during those three days spent in the Empty Quarter, the riders will have to deal with the added difficulty of a marathon stage.
place for explorers
The Dakar has the particularity of bringing together on the same starting line the most successful pilots on the planet and enthusiasts who pose the sporting challenge of their lives with much less demands. The mutual pride of competing on the same course is part of the purest essence of the Dakar. However, the difference between the means available to professionals and amateurs leads to further encouragement to the latter, who will benefit every day from a ranking and differentiated positions.
In this way, based on the results obtained during their rally raid career, a list of “Factory” drivers will be determined for each category, while the “Explorers” will be able to compete with each other for rewards with direct utility to enhance their progression in the discipline, such as equipment and other items.
Random Roadbooks – No copy
The route of most of the stages will be divided into two sections more or less the same length and the roadbooks of these routes A and B will be distributed randomly, which means that drivers who are tempted to irrationally follow those who go ahead will risk jumping your waypoints and could receive significant penalties.
Advantage for the opening of the track in motorcycles The concatenation of the stages causes a yo-yo effect among the riders in the front row which can give rise to rather opportunistic race strategies. The opening of the track puts the rider in the most delicate position possible, to the point that the stage victory can be perceived as a punishment, which is why some riders deliberately apply the brakes so as not to expose themselves to an almost inevitable waste of time in the next phase. . Well this year the compensation will be granted in the clock.
Pato Silva will go for his 13th Dakar
El Pato Juan Manuel Silva and his MAN truck with which he raced the Dakar 2022.
“We will run the Dakar 2023, I don’t know what we will do yet, it will be defined in the next few days, but we will be in the Dakar. I am very close to confirming my 13th Dakar, we will see what can be done. It makes me really happy. The Dakar takes me, I’m not going to give up for now, ”commented Juan Manuel Silva, the experienced Dakar driver, who took part this year with a Puma Energy Rally Team truck.
Silva evaluates some possibilities of returning to Saudi Arabia to compete in the traditional race, which this Sunday will reveal the characteristics of the 2023 edition.
“After a year and a half I got on the simulator I have at home. My eldest son who came home and at one point I told him to lend me a little. I did a few laps in a Formula 1 car, got confused several times and said it wasn’t enough. He doesn’t take me anymore. I like the Dakar or a long-term race, yes, but the motorsport I’ve been racing with all my life is no longer, “Silva told Carburando.
Obviously Silva will be one of the Argentines who will compete, like the brothers Kevin and Luciano Benavídes, on a motorcycle, Orlando Terranova, in the car, and Manuel Andújar, in quad, among many riders in different categories.