The 2022 Dakar Rally is set to kick off on January 1, 2022, and run through January 14, 2022 to get the new year started in style. This marks the third year for the entire event to take place in Saudi Arabia, which of course meant that organizers carefully crafted a new route that’s completely different from the previous ones that competitors attacked in 2020 and 2021. 

Some important changes were added in 2021, keeping technical difficulty while reducing overall speed in a bid to keep the racers a bit safer, yet still find the course as challenging as everyone expects. Additionally, airbag vests were made a compulsory part of safety equipment requirements in 2021. 

For 2022, this year’s route will see the paddock housed in Jeddah, where competitors will depart for stage 1A on Saturday, January 1, 2022. From there, they’ll travel a total of 636 kilometers (395 miles) from Jeddah to Ha’il, with an additional 19 kilometer (11.8 mile) special stage. Stage 1B, which takes place on January 2, will span 546 kilometers (339.3 miles), with an additional 334 km (207.5 m) special stage. 

In all, competitors will tackle a total of 13 stages and 13 special stages between January 1 and January 14, 2022, with stages numbered from 1A and 1B through 12. Regular stages for 2022 are mapped out over a range of 8,177 kilometers, or approximately 5,081 miles. Meanwhile, special stages span 4,259 kilometers, or approximately 2,645.8 miles in total. A single rest day is planned for Saturday, January 8, to take place with competitors located in Riyadh for the day, and the event will conclude back in Jeddah on the 14th. 

Competitors who enjoy the unique challenges that sand provides will have a lot to appreciate with the 2022 Dakar Rally. Organizers say there’s even more sand in the special stages than there has been in past years, so it should provide a new experience even to competitors who have participated in both previous Saudi Arabian Dakar events. 

Are you excited about the 2022 Dakar Rally? Here’s hoping for an exciting competition to ring in the New Year. 

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