Dakar Rally: 342 vehicles on the starting line of the 42nd edition
342 vehicles have been cleared to start the 42nd edition of the Dakar after three days of technical and administrative scrutineering at King Abdullah Stadium in Jeddah. There are 114 motorbikes, 23 quads, 83 cars, 45 SSVs and 46 trucks on the start list, gathering more than 500 competitors.
A total of 68 nationalities are represented, including support crews. French competitors make up the largest national contingent with 109 riders, drivers and co-drivers, followed by Spain (75) and the Netherlands (50). Among all competitors, 13 women will start the race.
In total, they will cover a distance of 7500 kilometers, of which roughly 5000 km will be against the clock. The route leads through almost the entire desert area in the Arabian country. The opening stage Jeddah – Al Wajh is scheduled for Sunday (January 5).
The defending winner in a car category is Nasser Al-Attiyah, who will share TGR’s Toyota Hilux with Matthieu Baumel again. Four former winners are on the top of the list of Nasser’s rivals: Nani Roma (Borgward), Stephane Peterhansel (X-Raid Mini), Giniel de Villiers (Toyota) and Carlos Sainz (X-Raid Mini). The biggest name among the others is one rookie – former F1 champion Fernando Alonso.
In the moto category, three KTM stars from last year’s podium will fight again for a victory: Toby Price, Matthias Walkner and Sam Sunderland.
Photos: Dakar Rally, X-Raid, Red Bull Content Pool