[WORLDKINGS] The unique contests around the world – P17 - Dakar Rally: The hardest car racing on Earth


(WorldKings.org) If you’ve ever wanted to feel like Mad Max putting the pedal to the metal in a custom vehicle and tearing across an unforgiving desert landscape, then perhaps you should look into the Dakar Rally. The 3,000-mile race used to be between Paris and Dakar, but was moved to South America in 2009 due to the possible threat of terrorism.

The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as the "Paris–Dakar Rally") is an annual rally raid organized by the Amaury Sport Organisation. Most events since the inception in 1978 were staged from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, but due to security threats in Mauritania, which led to the cancellation of the 2008 rally, events from 2009 to 2019 were held in South America.



Since 2020, the race has been entirely in Saudi Arabia. The rally is open to amateur and professional entries, amateurs typically making up about eighty percent of the participants.



Contestants are allowed to compete with pretty much any land vehicle of their choosing, including custom cars, trucks, motorcycles, and quads. The off-road race lasts two weeks and although it’s open to anyone who has a sports license, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Since its inception in 1978, the Dakar Rally has claimed more than 50 lives.



People have died of dehydration, heatstroke, heart attacks, or a combination of all three, which is often the case if a contestant happens to get completely lost. Spectators aren’t exactly safe from harm either. At this year’s event, 10 people were injured at the start of the race when an out-of-control car went careening into the stands. When even the people who are watching are getting sent to the hospital, you know the competition is crazy.

According to en.wikipedia and goliath.com

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