"I can lead you to the doors of adventure, but it is up to you to open them." Thierry Sabine
The Dakar Rally was launched in 1978 by a young and adventurous Frenchmen named Thierry Sabine. In its early years, the race was called the Paris-Dakar Rally because it started in the French capital of Paris and ended in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. After political instability and uncertainties in Africa forced the race to be cancelled in 2008, organizers relocated to the event to South America, where the race was held subsequently as the Dakar Rally.
Competitors vie to see who can complete a nearly 10,000-km punishing course in the shortest time over two weeks traversing desert, dunes, muddy fields, wilderness and more. Known as the world’s most grueling rally event, it is not uncommon to have fewer than 50% of entrants complete the race. This major event attracts attention from around the world, igniting in competitors a fervent desire to test their mettle with more than 300 vehicles from 50 countries competing each year across five divisions: a bike division, quad (buggy) division, car division, SSV (side by side vehicle) division, and truck division.
2020 Race Data (Source: Event Organizer)
|No. of vehicles competing||342|
|Quad (buggy) Division||23|
|SSV (Side by Side Vehicle) Division||46|
|Countries where Dakar Rally broadcast||190|
|Reporters covering race on site||1,900|
|Facebook page followers||2,200,000|
|Twitter account followers||460,000|