The Dakar 2022 Rally will take place from January 2-14, with the iconic endurance event taking place entirely in Saudi Arabia for a third year running. Organisers have revealed the first details for the 2022 edition – including its route and some new rules.
The new route will see competitors venture into what is called the ‘Empty Quarter’ – a desert nearly the size of France, extending over the entire south-eastern region of the country. Here, a total of three stages, including a Marathon Stage with no external assistance overnight, will take place entirely in the dunes. With lesser rocky stages, participants will be able to take advantage of the landscape, should they ace the tricky navigation.
There were some safety concerns regarding racing in the Empty Quarter; the last time the rally ventured there in 2020, Hero MotoSports rider Paulo Goncalves tragically lost his life. To find a way around this, the route has been organised in such a way that the most dangerous parts will be crossed by liaison (untimed section of the rally) and participants will be air-lifted to Riyadh for the rest day.
The 2022 Dakar Rally will get underway from Ha’il on January 2, with a rest day in Riyadh on January 8, before concluding in Jeddah on January 14. Registrations for the event open next week, on May 17.