Dakar 2023: Do you want to take back some sand?

The fourth edition of Dakar in Saudi Arabia will be held from December 31, 2022 to January 15, 2023. The announced itinerary is new. The course will take pilots and crews from the beaches of the Red Sea to the beaches of the Arabian Gulf at Dammam. That crossing the country looks like a complete trip as the 14 stages of the program will initially direct Dakar towards the mountainous areas of the northwest before heading towards the deep southeast for a three-day dive into the dune sea.Empty Quarter.

ASO press release

The theme of beach and coziness will be crucial as soon as competitors arrive in Saudi Arabia, the new format for Grand Départ plans to welcome the Dakar caravan in its entirety during the entire sequence of the latest technical and administrative checks, which mainly find place on the Castellet circuit in late November. For the occasion, the structures have been redesigned to integrate animations, to provide space for coziness and exchange. Concept ” Sea Camp ”consists of taking over a piece of desert by the sea. The adventure has already begun.

1 + 14 = 15 DAYS SPORT

Dakar 2023 is characterized by its length, with 14 stages to which a prologue has been added, that is, a stopwatch that has started in 15 days of competition. The routes include new offers of 70%. The format is also the closest that the rally has offered in its modern period, as the vast majority of the drawn stages approach 450 kilometers, while the connecting kilometer is reduced to bring the arrivals of the bivouacs closer together and reduce the recovery times. connection. In total, with almost 5,000 kilometers of selective distances, it will be the longest distance to travel on a special since the 2014 edition.

Competitors had the opportunity to get to know this huge part of Saudi territory, designated as the “empty neighborhood” of the Arabian Peninsula. But the whims of marathon bivouac off Shubeyta in 2020 or the loops tracked from Wadi Ad dawasir revealed only a small part of this vast desert. Immersion is now made possible thanks to the road that provides communication with the neighboring state of Oman, which also makes it possible to set up a bivouac in distant eastern Saudi Arabia. Among the three days inEmpty Neighborhood riders will also have to deal with the difficulty of a marathon stage.


The principle has long been known in elementary schools, where teachers sometimes hand out different exercises to two neighbors at the table … the best way to ensure that the wise are not tempted to copy. In the same way, the routes for most special offers will be divided over a more or less long section, as roadbooks for routes A and B will be distributed at random. Therefore, pilots who would be tempted to follow without thinking in the footsteps of their predecessors risk missing out on their waypoints and therefore receive severe penalties.


The sequence of stages causes a yo-yo effect among the best riders, which can give credit to opportunistic racing strategies. The opening position is the most delicate of all, it even happens that the stage victory is experienced as a punishment, including until certain pilots voluntarily deprive themselves of it so as not to expose themselves to an almost inevitable waste of time the next day. This year, therefore, time compensation will be awarded …


The newspaper is over. For several years, the “tablets” have appeared in the cockpits of cars and then trucks before being tested by motorcyclists registered in the elite. Since the system is fully tested and the equipment is now ready to be used in all categories, all vehicles will be equipped with this digital version this year.


With 140 vehicles, second edition of Dakar classic has had considerable success, which has also uncovered large potential differences between the older cars and those from the late 90s. An extra speed group, dubbed H0, has therefore been added to define smaller averages. Highly adapted to less powerful cars. In addition, two challenges are created: Authenticco-driver challenge » for vehicles entering without modern regularity instruments; and Iconic classic Association » for original vehicles that actually participated in the 20th Dakare century, and therefore excludes all “replicas”. Finally, a selection committee will be invited to decide whether to limit the number of vehicles to a maximum of 150 registered.

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