The Dakar Rally (formerly known as “the Paris–Dakar Rally”) is the annual transcontinental rally-marathon, organized by Thierry Sabine. The first raid was held in 1978. Before rally shifted to South America, its starting/finishing point was Senegal’s capital – Dakar.
Professional sportsmen (factory team), as well as amateurs (up to 80%), participate in the race. Unlike the classic rally, when the world championship (WRC) have many stages in different countries, and the champion is determined in line with a number of points scored, the Dakar Rally is usually held at the beginning of the year and ends after the reaching of the destination point. The distance is divided into separate sections. The winner is the one who will overcome the route for the shortest time. In addition, the Dakar Rally has three main groups:
– Motorcycles (including ATVs); – Cars (both SUVs or pickups foundation and specially prepared for desert racing cars without buggy prototypes) – Trucks
The participants start in the following order: motorcycles are the first, followed by cars, with trucks coming last. In each group, the starting order is determined by the place that the participant took in the previous step. Winners start in 2-minute intervals.
The Dakar Rally route covers public roads without the use of special measures to restrict the traffic. Stages are held daily. The distance of each stage (road section in combination with the high-speed section) is 435-560 miles. Routes run through sand, barchans, and dunes (stones, salt marshes, hard rocky ground, and so on).