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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JEDDAH: Over 1,000 race cars and equipment arrived at Yanbu after the two vessels carrying them berthed at King Fahd Industrial Port as preparations for Dakar Rally’s fifth edition in Saudi Arabia are underway.
The vessels sailed toward the Kingdom from Barcelona, and once the offloading process is completed, rally cars and equipment are poised to proceed to the rally’s launch site, according to a media statement on Tuesday.
Participants of the 46th edition of Dakar Rally, the motorsport world’s most famous and challenging rally, are preparing to embark on a new challenge across Saudi Arabia’s picturesque landscapes and explore its distinctive geographical diversity between Jan. 5 and 19, 2024.
The two vessels were loaded with 864 vehicles, five helicopters, and 39 containers, along with support, media, and event organizer vehicles. The Kingdom is fully hosting the event for the fifth consecutive year, with 778 drivers and co-drivers participating.
This year’s rally course consists of a prologue stage and 12 special stages, beginning with a preliminary journey from AlUla’s desert camp before venturing through Al-Henakiyah, Al-Duwadimi, Al-Salamiya, Al-Hofuf, Shubaytah, Riyadh, Hail, and Yanbu.
Participants are expected to start arriving in the Kingdom on Dec. 29 and 30, 2023, with the scrutineering of the participating vehicles scheduled for Jan. 3 and 4, 2024, at the AlUla camp.
The opening ceremony is set for Jan. 4, the prologue stage for Jan. 5, and the first stage of the rally starts on Jan. 6, 2024.
The Dakar Rally 2024 Saudi Arabia will feature 434 vehicles, including 137 motorbikes, 72 race cars, 46 trucks, 42 T3 and 36 T4 lightweight vehicles, alongside 10 quad bikes, 66 classic cars, and 14 classic trucks. Additionally, 10 vehicles will compete in the Dakar Future — Mission 1000 category, comprising one car, one truck, two T3 category vehicles, and six motorbikes.
The Dakar Rally stands as one of the oldest races in motorsports, recognized for its extensive scale, variety of events, and the intense thrill and passion it consistently delivers. It is organized by the Amaury Sport Organization in collaboration with the Saudi Motorsport Co., which operates under the umbrella of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, in coordination with other local authorities.
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