Saturday,26 May, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1375, (4-10 January 2018)
Saturday,26 May, 2018
Issue 1375, (4-10 January 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Dakar 2018

In its 40th edition, the world’s toughest cross-country Rally Dakar hits 13 stages cutting 9,000km through South America

The rally that tests man and machine to the limit against the harshest terrains and weather conditions ever found in a motor racing competition opens the motor sports calendar of 2018. The Rally Dakar, reports Mohamed Abdel-Razek, which started for the first time in 1979 and used to cut deep into the African continent, had to head to America years ago to keep the rally going far from the political conflict in central Africa. However, the name “Dakar” never changed.

On Saturday 6 January, Rally Dakar will kick-off with 351 racers competing in four major categories: cars, motorbikes, quads and trucks. The four categories of vehicles are subdivided into classes, each with their technical and mechanical standards. As in cars you have T1, the highly technical specs, also divided into 4WD like the Toyota and the Mini and the 2WD like the Peugeot. They are all competing at the top level along with the T2 for series production vehicles and T3 for lightweight vehicles.  


Dakar 2018

For the first time in five years Peru will host the first six stages of the rally where the competitors will be tested right from the start in its tricky dunes. Bolivia is the second country the rally will pass through in three stages visiting the capital La Paz which is 3,600m above sea level, making it one of the most difficult stages on all competitors who will face fatigue due to the decrease in oxygen, especially riders on bikes and quads.


Dakar 2018

“Once again I can see the days we spend at high altitude being the key to this race,” said Stephane Peterhansel, 13-time Dakar winner and the winner of the last edition on his Peugeot T1 car. 


Dakar 2018

Many experienced racers like Peterhansel believe that the five days in the middle of the race, especially the stages in Bolivia, will determine who will finish the rally, as such high altitudes and harsh terrain and weather will be the ultimate test for the cars and teams equally. Rally Dakar will end up in Argentina with five stages, ending in Cordoba on 20 January.


Official route for Rally Dakar 2018

The edition will mark the first participation of a Lebanese team who will participate in T2 with a Mitsubishi Pajero. Hopefully they can finish the rally safely. Good luck to all the teams.

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