"A challenge for those who go and a dream for those who stay." Thierry Sabine
The Dakar Rally was started in 1978 by a young adventurous Frenchman named Thierry Sabine. During its early years, it was called the Paris-Dakar Rally because at the time the race started in Paris, the capital of France, and finished in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. However, the rally had to be canceled in 2008 due to rising political uncertainties in Africa, where the bulk of the race was carried out. It was relocated to the South American continent in 2009, and is currently called the Dakar Rally.
The Dakar Rally is a time competition where contestants compete for two weeks over a distance of approximately 10,000km, traveling over off- road terrain including sand dunes, deserts and wastelands. The rally is referred to as the “world’s most grueling rally,” and over the years, it hasn’t been unusual for less than half the contestants to make it to the finish line. This has only spurred the contestants’ spirit of challenge, however, as each year it attracts more than 300 entrants from over 50 countries in five categories-motorbikes, quads (4-wheeled buggies), cars, UTV(newly established in the 2017 rally) and trucks-making this a major event with a huge global following.
The Dakar Rally 2019 in figures (according to the organizer’s information)
|The number of vehicles represented on the rally.||334|
|The number of moto category||138|
|The number of quad category||29|
|The number of car category||126(including 30 vehicles in the new UTV category)|
|The number of truck category||41|
|The number of countries in which the images of the Dakar will be broadcast||190|
|In total, the estimated number of hours broadcast of images of the Dakar on the world’s TV channels||1,200|
|The number of journalists who will follow the entire rally||1,900|
|The number of fans on the Dakar’s official Facebook page.||2 million|
|The number of fans on the Dakar’s official Twitter follower.||400,000|