CEREMONIAL START | Jeddah | Date: 04.01.2020 | [GMT +3]
47 trucks, 87 off-roadsters (cars), 47 SSV all-terrain vehicles, 23 quads and 147 motorcycles – today they will become the race ceremonial start participants.
On Saturday, 4 January, in Jeddah – one of the largest cities in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, more than three hundred and fifty racers, who will perform in five scoring categories of the DAKAR 2020 international rally marathon, passed all the pre-start procedures: preliminary and final technical inspections, as well as administrative checks.
Due to the large number of participants, the main inspections of technical vehicles, press cars that journalists use with the right to go to the racing track, sports cars, all-terrain vehicles, quads and motorcycles were carried out in December 2019 in Marseille, before loading onto a ferry that delivered a caravan of equipment to the Islamic port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
The final technical inspection and administrative checks took place immediately before the race ceremonial start in the Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium. Technical commissioners weighed the vehicles, checked the equipment of the racers, as well as the correct installation and operability of all the necessary navigation devices.
The ceremonial start of the DAKAR 2020 rally will begin on 4 January at 16:00 local time and will last until midnight! On Sunday morning, the racers will begin to pass the first kilometers of the legendary marathon racing distance.
Participants will tackle 12 stages, separated by a day of rest. The total length of the DAKAR rally distance is 7,900 kilometers, while more than five thousand kilometers are competitive ones.
The crews supported by Gazpromneft Lubricants are ready for the start.
The Russian Vladimir Vasilyev, representing one of the largest teams of the current DAKAR – X-raid G-Energy, will drive MINI ALL4 Racing with the G-Energy logo on board in the Car standings. The team is the leader of world rally cross country rallies and the main favorite of the starting rally marathon. In addition to Vasilyev, six more experienced and distinguished crews from 10 countries will fight for the highest positions of the race.
The Belarusian team MAZ-SPORTauto crews will perform for the G-Energy Team in the Truck standings. An updated bonneted truck of Sergey Vyazovich and two MAZ cabover trucks, tested by transcontinental marathons, of Alexander Vasilevsky and Alexey Vishnevsky, took part in pre-start tests after completing the technical inspection and administrative checks.
In 2019, Sergey Vyazovich, the Belarusian team leader, headed the intermediate classification of the Silk Way rally for a long time, proving the excellent driving performance of the new MAZ truck. The Belarusian racer starts at the DAKAR 2020 as one of the main favorites of the Truck classification and will fight for the victory.
What participants will find on the first day?
The first special stage, the total distance of which is 433 kilometers, including 319 competitive ones, will immediately pose the most difficult navigation tasks for the DAKAR participants – the race organizers will not give the riders time to build up. The road conditions and the surface of the first day route will constantly change – the stage will begin with mountain canyons and dried river beds, continue with soft sand dunes and high-speed sections on a sandy plateau, and end with sandy impassability.