2024 Dakar Rally spans 7,891 km

The 2024 Dakar Rally will be the fifth in Saudi Arabia, though sixty percent of the route will proceed through ground not previously visited. The full route was revealed Monday, spanning 7,891 kilometres with 4,727 km in Selective Sections.

The route is shorter than the 8,549 of the 2023 race, though it has more Selective Sections-the actual part of each stage where competitors are timed-than last year’s 4,704. However, the 4,727 km still falls just short of the highest Saudi SS of 4,767 in 2021.

Al-‘Ula will kick off the rally on 5 January with a 27-km loop, serving as its start and finish. The race “formally” begins with Stage #1 heading to Al Hinakiyah followed by Dawadmi the day after.

Marathon rules, which prohibit crews from assisting drivers and bikes, apply in Stages #3 and #4. Both will serve as a warm-up of sorts for the bigger Chrono Stage that will run for forty-eight hours in Stage #6, taking competitors to and from Shubaytah in the easternmost part of the country. Once it is 4 PM on 11 January, teams must report to the nearest rest area, of which six are available, where they camp through the night before resuming the Chrono Stage the next morning. Once they complete the stage, they head to Riyadh for the rest day on 13 January as they did in 2023.

The second half of the rally, a trip westward, commences on the 14th with the longest total stage back to Dawadmi at 873 kilometres. A stop in Ḥa’il is followed by a return to Al-‘Ula. Yanbu will host the twelfth and final stage on 19 January with another loop.

The Stage #1 start date of 6 January is the latest for the Dakar since 2020, intended to give teams time to celebrate the new year. They will head to Barcelona at the end of November for inspection before shipping out to Saudi Arabia.

2024 Dakar Rally route

Stage Start Finish Total Distance Selective Sections Road Sections Date
Prologue Al-‘Ula Al-‘Ula 157 km 27 km 130 km 5 January
1 Al-‘Ula Al Hinakiyah 532 km 405 km 127 km 6 January
2 Al Hinakiyah Dawadmi 662 km 470 km 192 km 7 January
3 Dawadmi Al Salamiya 733 km 440 km 293 km 8 January
4 Al Salamiya Hofuf 631 km 299 km 332 km 9 January
5 Hofuf Shubaytah 727 km 118 km 609 km 10 January
6 Shubaytah Shubaytah 818 km 584 km 234 km 11/12 January
Rest Riyadh Riyadh N/A N/A N/A 13 January
7 Riyadh Dawadmi 873 km 483 km 390 km 14 January
8 Dawadmi Ḥa’il 678 km 458 km 220 km 15 January
9 Ḥa’il Al-‘Ula 639 km 417 km 222 km 16 January
10 Al-‘Ula Al-‘Ula 609 km 371 km 238 km 17 January
11 Al-‘Ula Yanbu 587 km 480 km 107 km 18 January
12 Yanbu Yanbu 328 km 175 km 153 km 19 January

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Author: Justin Nguyen

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