Dakar 2024 is the 46th edition of the Dakar rally which is organized by Amaury Sports Organization. The rally is scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia, which is hosting the rally for the fifth time from 5th January to 19th January, 2024. The Dakar rally remains as one of the toughest challenges in the motorsports, with rallying across the enormous Arabian desert, facing the extreme temperatures and surviving the tough paths.
👇 The official route of Dakar 2024!
🚩 AlUla – Yanbu 🏁
📏 7,891 km (4,727 km of SS)
— DAKAR RALLY (@dakar) November 20, 2023
The rally’s opening stage will start on 5th and 6th January at AlUla and after a two week long adventure, the finish and podium celebrations will be held on 19th January in Yanbu, by the coast of Red Sea. There are 12 stages, stretching over a length 7891 Km with 60% of new route this year.
The longest stage is a newly introduced 48-Hour Chrono marathon stage, where the contenders must not only navigate their remote territory but also work on their cars all by themselves(allowed to help other drivers and co-drivers) without any assistance from their teams.
What is Dakar 2024 Rally?
The Dakar rally was first started in 1978 from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal. The rally was shifted to South America from 2009 to 2019 due to security reasons in Mauritania. From last 5 years Saudi Arabia has been hosting the rally.
The Dakar 2024 rally mainly consists of 5 categories of Cars, Bikes, Trucks, Challengers(buggy) and Quads. A total of 778 members, including drivers and teams are involved. Out of which, 436 competitors will sweat it out, thrashing the sand dunes, climbing the hills and passing the stream rivers.
Indian Drivers at Dakar 2024 rally
CS Santosh was the pioneer for India at Dakar. After him KP Arvind, Harith Noah and Ashish Roarane were the only Indians to take part in this historical event.
This year at the Dakar 2024, two Indians among the 140 riders will contest on two wheels. Harith Noah and Ashish Raorane will represent India at the marquee rally event.
Harith Noah: Originally from Kerala, Harith Noah is Five-time Indian National Supercross champion. He will be attempting his fifth Dakar as a Sherco TVS team member. Noah became the fastest Indian at Dakar, bettering the result of CS Santosh in 2021 by producing top 20 performance.
Last year Noah was pulled out of the rally after a crash in stage 4. Scans revealed that he had fractured the fifth thoracic vertebrae (T5) of his spine. But after a tough year, he is raring to go at Dakar 2024. This year he will use #20 Sherco 450 SEF Rally spec.
Ashish Roarane: He is another Indian to take part in Dakar 2024 rally. This will be the second attempt for the Pune based rider. In his debut, he completed the Dakar rally Malle Motto Class in 2021 despite a head injury in a massive crash. He will astraddle a KTM 450 Rally Replica, serviced by Team Xraids Experience in the R2 class.
Dakar 2024 is an Everest to climb
Dakar is an Everest to climb even for the most experienced riders. It took Harith Noah two year to learn and adapt to the rally. He faced many setbacks and suffered many injuries over his career. After a tough finish last year, he had a boost to his confidence after winning Transanatolia rally in September. He also conquered 15th spot at the Rallye du Maroc. With these positive attributes, Noah will be hoping to finish the rally once again this time.
The 41 year old Ashish Roarane completed the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, a qualification rally for Dakar 2024. He did the needful as this campaign boosted his confidence to make an impact in the toughest rally of them all.
Indian team at Dakar 2024 rally
Though TVS is associated with Sherco to support Harith Noah, it is not recognized a team at Dakar 2024. Hero Motorsports Team Rally is the only Indian team at the adventurous event. This year they will be competing in the Bikes category in association with 4 international riders.
The great unknown beckons again – tougher, mightier, and dangerous than ever.
But we are Heroes. We dare to dream.
We dare to do. We don't settle for the ordinary. We are #GearedForGlory 🔥
— Hero MotoSports (@hero_motosports) December 7, 2023
Sebastian Bühler(Germany), Joaquim Rodrigues(Portugal), Ross Branch(Botswana), Joan Barreda(Spain) will use Hero 450 rally.
The team is yet to secure a championship at Dakar rally and this time they would be hoping a top finish.