A safety alert concerning the 3,500 inhabitants of the Dakar touring camp followed an incident at the Donatello Hotel in Jeddah where a car exploded.
The ASO said it was " aware of an incident that occured this morning outside the Hotel Donatello, which resulted in the injury of one driver". It said that the driver was being treated in a hospital in the Red Sea coastal city, that his vehicle had suddenly stopped and started to burn.
A second communication followed at 18:25 local time on Saturday, saying that there were six passengers in the car and that five of them were unharmed.
"Only the driver of the car suffered serious injuries to his leg and had to undergo surgery. His condition is improving and his repatriation to France is being prepared. His vehicle was brought to a sudden halt by a sudden explosion, the origin of which is still unknown at this stage."
"The entire route, the hotels and the bivouacs will therefore benefit from a significant increase in security. In this context, we ask you to observe the greatest vigilance," concludes the press release.
FIA STATEMENT ON DAKAR RALLY 02.01.22
The FIA gives full support to the French driver Philippe Boutron, injured in the explosion of a vehicle assistance before the start of the Dakar Rally in Jeddah, and wishes him a speedy recovery. The FIA trusts the local authorities to get to the bottom of what happened and to continue to ensure the safety of the race in link with the organisers.