2024 Dakar Rally startline 5th January

2024 Dakar Rally startline 5th January

Find out which bikers, drivers and teams will tackle the world's toughest rally raid race in Saudi Arabia.

The 46th edition of the world's biggest rally raid race will launch off the start line on January 5 as the 2024 Dakar Rally sees nearly 800 racers embark on the toughest Saudi Arabian staging yet of 7,891 kilometres across 12 stages plus a Prologue. H

- The Dakar Rally began as the Paris-Dakar Rally, which was first formally run in 1979, with the event switching up to South America in 2009 due to safety concerns and then Saudi Arabia from 2020.

- Famous names such as Didier Auriol, Ari Vätanen and René Metge dominated in the early races before the likes of Stéphane Peterhansel excelled, the brilliant Frenchman earning his 14th victory in 2021.

- In recent years, Giniel De Villiers became the first African driver to win it in 2009 and Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah - who heads to the 2024 start line aiming for a hattrick - was the first Middle East winner in 2011.

- Part adventure, part long distance race, competitors drive on public roads and rendezvous at a liaison where they follow a course using a GPS and roadbook through waypoints to the finish line.

- The competitors drive over punishing rough ground, so punctures and breakdowns are very common, making good mechanical knowledge and a tool kit essential while the long, arduous routes ensure each person needs to be at the peak of their mental and physical powers.

- With the aim of being carbon neutral by 2030, the Dakar has become a hotbed of technology, notably the Audi RS Q e-tron plus cutting edge M1000 vehicles such as the hydrogen-powered KH-7 Epsilon.

- The 2024 route from January 5-19 takes the intrepid racers over dunes, mountains and the vast desert of Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter as they compete from the 1000-year-old city of AlUla back to Yanbu.

- The total distance sees 4,727 kilometres of timed specials and this year features a new concept – a timed 48-hour race where the competitors in the eight Bike, Quad, Car, Challenger, SSV, Truck, M1000 and Classic categories have until 4pm to reach one of eight bivouacs for the night with minimal kit and supplies available in two hours to make repairs.

- After breaking the record for the most Dakar stage wins in 2022 with 12 victories, American Seth Quintero has joined TOYOTA GAZOO Racing to tackle the 2024 race in the elite T1+ car class with the Californian driving a Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ alongside Brazilian Lucas Moraes.

- With 232 stage wins, the flaming orange KTM 450 has been the Dakar bike of choice this century with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing boasting defending champion Kevin Benavides of Argentina, two-time champion Toby Price and 2018 winner Matthias Walkner for the 2024 edition.

- Outside of them, Dakar legends Carlos Sainz, Ignacio Casale, Sébastien Loeb, Francisco Lopez and Sam Sunderland will suit up, while Spaniards Cristina Gutiérrez and Laia Sanz will be looking to impress alongside the likes of Rokas Baciuška, Mitch Guthrie Jr, Austin Jones and Daniel Sanders.

Keep up to date with every single 2024 stage on Red Bull Click here

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