Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Dates, routes, latest features and more revealed

In Saturday's presentation, it was announced that the 2025 Dakar Rally will start on January 3 in Bisha and end on the seventeenth of the identical month in Shubaytah, two locations already known to current competitors.

Rally director David Castera has designed an event that tries to strike a balance to maintain the joy going until the very end, but with some key obstacles, corresponding to the famous 48-hour stage introduced last yr, a special marathon, a mass start on at some point and going through the grueling sandy desert of the Empty Quarter at the tip.

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However, perhaps essentially the most striking change is the difference in routes between cars/lorries and cycles on certain days, which meant that the ASO needed to map out more routes than usual.

To this we’ll add a sort of Power Stage, much like the Sunday World Rally Championship at each event. The idea is predicted to spread to the remaining of the World Rally Championship by 2026 and can aim to bring rallying closer to the general public.

What's latest within the Dakar Rally 2025

Motorsport.com Spain met with Castera, during which he explained what's latest within the Dakar Rally.

Although he insisted that he desired to keep the Empty Quarter course in the identical shape, he felt that something needed to be done to maintain the competitors in optimal condition.

“This yr we’ve marked different routes for cars, trucks and bicycles. So we’ve a 48-hour stage that [run over] two days, so I'm working on 4 completely different special stages for every category, which has three consequences,” he explained.

“First of all, those in the back, the amateurs, [they] it would end very late at night because it gets dark very early in Saudi Arabia. If everyone starts together, because everyone will start the same way for 300 meters and [then] their paths will diverge, they will gather to refuel and return to the finish line,” he said.

“Almost nobody will go this manner [out] within the night. Unless they’re very slow or in trouble, they’ll finish the race on the identical day, and for me it will be important to race otherwise.

“The second consequence is that the automobile crew may have to navigate so much more [without the trail left by bikes]pilots may have numerous work.

“And the third one is safety, especially for motorcycles, which won't mix with cars, won't have dust, won't overtake one another.

“What's more, we're done with the Empty Quarter, which is something I've been fascinated by since we began working on it.

“Everyone may be very comfortable with the dunes, but then we’ve to see how you can do it, with not very long stages in the course of the rally, and I'm going to do what nobody thinks about, since it's also true that I like It.

“We may have three days consisting of stages 10 and 11 with large dunes and a small stage 12 at the tip with a mass start harking back to the old Dakar days when everyone began together.

“We are trying something like this and we are going to do the same thing as in the WRC with the Power Stage, whoever wins will get more points for the world championship,” he said.

“So we're going to have a little fun with the last special stage, which is short and will end with a bivouac, a bit unique because I like the idea of ​​being close to the desert, which is the DNA of the Dakar, and we will do a traditional bivouac, a bit African style, with a marathon tent to give “it has a distinct character, the spirit of what I like.”

Features of the Dakar Rally 2025

Castera desired to do something higher for every category, so cars, trucks and bikes may have different routes in some stages, but that's not all. The Frenchman said he at all times listens to other people around him, each the players and his own team at ASO, and that's how he got here up with the 2025 route.

Therefore, the race will start with the Prologue and a loop in the town of Bisha. In stages 10, 11 and 12, competitors will head towards the damaging and unknown Empty Quarter, where they’ll face special stages over 350 kilometers long and a 48-hour special stage, which was extremely popular within the last edition of the event.

“The idea is to remain kind of at the identical level as last yr because I even have found a balance that I like and that the drivers like. They finish very comfortable, so I would like to proceed on this path and we’ve worked to take care of this level of difficulty, there isn’t a special stage shorter than 350 kilometers, except the last one and all the pieces shall be complicated,” Castera revealed.

On the technical side, there shall be some changes, with particular emphasis on the T2/stock class, as there may be currently little or no interest on this category. The dealership is working to get more manufacturers to affix Toyota. Castero talked about Jaguar or Defender as candidates to participate, although he was pondering more about 2026 because getting latest manufacturers on board “takes time.”

The dealership will listen to the performance of every automobile within the Ultimate category using the Balance of Performance [BoP] a system very much like that utilized in the World Endurance Championships. However, this shall be based solely on the facility generated by the automobile through the engine torque level. This allows “the power of each car to be very precisely determined to achieve balance,” Castera says.

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