Since its inception in 1978, Dakar has always been a multi-national rally. It was in 2019 when it was held in Peru alone. This year, it was Saudi Arabia which hosted Dakar 2020 and has received good feedback. However, now Dakar Rally organiser ASO is planning to make Dakar a multinational event once again and consequently, Dakar 2021 might cross Saudi Arabia’s borders.
As per our colleagues at motorsport.com, Castera said, “I think we’re going to try to add one more country. We haven’t worked much on the next [edition] yet, because this had to be done correctly first. Now that it’s done, we’re going to work quickly. Saudi Arabia sure, of course. And there will be another one [country].”
Which country? This hasn’t been revealed yet but looking at the facts, we anticipate that it would be either Jordan or Egypt as both of them share their borders with Saudi Arabia. Also, because Egypt has already hosted Dakar in 2000 and 2003 with Cairo and Sharm el-Sheikh being the finishing points, chances of it being the host once again are high.
Apart from moving into another country, Dakar 2021 would also get some revisions for its Saudi leg. Castera says that he wants to adapt the route for future editions of the event.
“I think it has been positive globally. People are very happy about this Dakar, the deserts, the landscapes. That is what I am going to keep in my head, the opinion is of the competitors, not just mine. I know that I have to improve, I saw it quickly and you always have to have a vision of what you do, if not, things do not work and you can not evolve.”
“There are things to improve on the routes, especially in the second week, that we are going very fast in this huge desert. Working a little more on the route to have a total balance, something was missing in the second week.”
“In the roadbook, you can also improve things and especially work with the digital version and, finally, keep the race at the level we have put on because it’s not easy.”
Whatever happens, Saudi Arabia will continue to be a part of Dakar for the next 4 years because it had secured a 5-year deal to host the cross-country rally from 2020.
Source – Motorsport.com