The 2022 edition of the Dakar Rally begins on Jan. 1. (Julien Delfosse / DPPI Photo)
The 2022 edition of the Dakar Rally begins on Jan. 1. (Julien Delfosse / DPPI Photo)

Teams & Drivers Gearing Up For Dakar Rally

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Teams and drivers are gearing up for the start of the 44th edition of the legendary Dakar Rally, which will be held in Saudi Arabia for the third time in history.

The event starts and ends in Jeddah, with action getting underway on Jan. 1 with the qualifying stage that takes competitors from Jeddah to Ha’il. The event will run for 13 days, with a rest day on Jan. 8 before the event comes to a close on Jan. 14.

Defending Dakar Rally champion Stephane Peterhansel enters as a likely favorite to once again claim the overall Dakar Rally crown. He owns 14 titles in 29 starts between the motorcycle and car classes. This year he’ll be driving for Audi with another Dakar champion, 2018 winner Carlos Sainz Sr., serving as his teammate in identical RS Q e-tron racers. 

Toyota returns with a three-pronged attack as 2019 champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, Giniel de Villiers and Yazeed Al-Rajhi look to give Toyota its second Dakar Rally championship. Team BRX also returns with Sebastien Loeb, Nani Roma and Orly Terranova set to chase Dakar glory. 

The X-Raid Team buggies, which helped Peterhansel and Sainz to overall victories in the last two runnings of the Dakar Rally, are also back in action. Jakub Przygonski is at the wheel of one of the X-Raid entries in search of his first overall title. He’ll be joined by Denis Krotov and Sebastian Halpern in X-Raid buggies.

Other contenders include Martin Prokop, Mathieu Serradori, Cyril Despres, Sheikh Khalid al Qassimi, Christian Lavieille and Guerlain Chicherit.

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