Dakar Rally

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dakar Rally
Current season Dakar Rally 2020
Logo Rallye Dakar.svg
Vehicle type Prototypes
Country or region International
Current name Dakar Rally
Previous names Paris-Dakar Rally
First season 1979
Official website dakar.com

The Dakar Rally (formerly Paris – Dakar Rally ) is a rally raid competition that is considered the most important long-distance and desert rally in the world. It was held once a year from 1978 to 2007, mainly on the African continent . In 2008 the Dakar Rally was canceled due to a terror threat. From 2009 to 2019 it was carried out in South America for safety reasons . The rally has been taking place in Saudi Arabia since 2020 .


The BMW on which Gaston Rahier won the rally in 1985 (in the Neckarsulm two-wheeler museum )
Vehicles of the rally in Paris, 1992

The first Dakar Rally started in Paris on December 26, 1978 and ended in Dakar on January 14, 1979 . The event was founded by the French Thierry Sabine . The organizer at that time was the Thierry Sabine Organization . After his death, his father took over the rally for a few years, but then sold the rights to the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), which still runs the rally today. The ASO is a large French sports company that z. B. also organizes the Tour de France .

Sabine was inspired by participation in the Abidjan-Nice rally , where he got lost on his motorcycle in the Libyan desert in 1977. Sabine's frequently quoted motto was "If life gets boring, risk it!" - he himself was killed on January 14, 1986 in Mali in a helicopter crash in a sandstorm during "his" Dakar rally. In his memory, a small acacia tree on a hill in northeastern Niger was named Arbre Thierry Sabine . A memorial stone and an illustrated book there remind of him and his accident.

In 2008 the Dakar Rally did not take place for the first time in its 30-year history. On January 4th, just one day before the scheduled start in Lisbon , the organizer canceled the competition due to an urgent travel warning from the French government. In addition to the murder of four French tourists on December 24, 2007 and a fatal attack on three soldiers on the border with Algeria, there was also a terrorist threat against the rally itself.

As a consequence of the terror threat and the cancellation in 2008, the Dakar Rally in 2009 no longer took place in Africa, but in South America. The rally started on January 3, 2009 in Buenos Aires and ended there on January 18, 2009 . A total of around 6000 km of the scoring route had to be tackled, with the rally not only passing through Argentina , but also through Chile .

The former race director of the Dakar Rally, Hubert Auriol , then organized the Africa Eco Race with René Metge , which took place for the first time in 2009. The Amaury Sport Organization then had Auriol's further participation in the Africa Eco Race prohibited by a temporary injunction.

In 2010 the Dakar Rally took place again in Argentina and Chile. The rally started on January 2nd, 2010 in Buenos Aires, where the award ceremony was held on January 17th. The 2011 Dakar began again in Buenos Aires on January 1, 2011 and ended on January 15, 2011. In 2012 the route led from Mar del Plata in Argentina via Chile to Lima ( Peru ).

After more and more countries had canceled their participation for cost reasons, the rally 2019 took place for the first time in its history in only one country - Peru . The start and finish was Lima . The rally has been taking place in Saudi Arabia since 2020 . David Castera, the former organizer of the Rallye du Maroc, has been the new race director since 2020.

After the participant record of 2007 with 525 vehicles, the number of participants has been falling continuously since 2009 with the move to South America and the Africa Eco Race, which has been taking place since the same year . In 2009, 500 vehicles took part in the rally, in 2020 there were only 342. Almost 160 fewer vehicles have taken part in the Dakar rally since 2009, and around the same number of vehicles in the Africa Eco Race during the same period. The Africa Eco Race is seen by the established rally raid teams and the international sports press as a competitive event in Africa to the Dakar Rally.

Character of the desert rally

2009 motorcycle winner Marc Coma in inhospitable desert conditions

In contrast to, for example, the races for the World Rally Championship (WRC), in which a series of short tests are carried out over a long weekend, "the Dakar" as a rally raid is a real marathon race in which individual stages of over 800 km are covered the majority of it on desert soil.

A complicating factor is the fact that the participants - with the exception of a rest day in the middle of the race - are on the road every day. This is an enormous burden, especially for privateers without factory support or a team of mechanics: If the stages are mastered within the set time limit, the privateers have to repair their vehicle themselves or change wear parts. If these drivers only reach their destination at night, sleep and service have to be reduced or the start of the next stage postponed. Overall, the failure rate for motorcycles and cars is therefore well over 50 percent.


2006: The route from Lisbon to Dakar
Route of the Dakar 2012 in South America

The competition took its original name of "Paris-Dakar Rally" according to first between the French and the Senegalese capital instead. Later the route as well as the starting and finishing point varied from year to year. The 2006 rally, for example, ran in 15 stages from Lisbon ( Portugal ) via Spain , Morocco , Western Sahara , Mauritania , Mali , Guinea and Senegal to the destination Dakar.

In 1992 the rally was extended by a week in order to reach the destination in Cape Town after crossing all of Africa . From a motorsport point of view, however, this route was unsatisfactory for most of the participants; overtaking was rarely possible on the narrow slopes in Central Africa.

In 2009 , the Dakar Rally was not held in Europe and Africa for the first time, but in the South American countries Argentina (with start and finish in Buenos Aires ) and Chile (with a day of rest in Valparaíso ).

In 2019 the Dakar Rally took place exclusively in Peru. The total length of the route was approx. 5600 kilometers with approx. 3000 kilometers special stage. About 70% of this was sand.

The 2020 edition of the rally took place in Saudi Arabia and ran over approx. 7,900 km from Jeddah to Al-Qiddiya near Riyadh .


KamAZ-4911 from Vladimir Chagin
Jutta Kleinschmidt was the first woman to win the Dakar Rally in 2001


The previous record winner of the Dakar is the French Stéphane Peterhansel . He won the motorcycle rating six times in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, he was in 1997 and 1998. The car category yet seven times, namely in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017, with his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret win .

Besides Peterhansel, Hubert Auriol (motorcycle 1981 and 1983, car 1992) and Nani Roma (motorcycle 2004, car 2014) are the only drivers who were able to win the race on both two and four wheels.

The most successful car driver is Peterhansel with seven wins, followed by the Finn Ari Vatanen with four wins between 1987 and 1991. In 2001, the German Jutta Kleinschmidt was the first woman to win the Dakar car classification.

The most successful driver in the truck category is Russian Vladimir Chagin , who won the race a total of seven times (2000, 2002–2004, 2006, 2010 and 2011). Behind him is the Czech Karel Loprais with six wins (1988, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2001).

The Frenchman Luc Alphand , winner in 2006, had previously been very successful in another sport: in 1997 he won the overall World Cup for Alpine Skiers  - as the only speed specialist to date, i.e. only with results from downhill and super-G.

The most successful passenger car brand is Mitsubishi Motors with a total of 12 overall Dakar victories.

The most successful truck brand is KAMAZ with a total of 16 overall Dakar victories.

The most successful motorcycle brand is KTM . The manufacturer from Austria was the overall winner from 2001 to 2019. In 2018 Matthias Walkner was the first Austrian to win the motorcycle championship.

The winners and routes of the Dakar Rally since 1979

year cars motorcycles Trucks Quads UTVs route
driver brand driver brand driver brand driver brand driver brand
1979 FranceFrance A. Génestier Range Rover FranceFrance C. Neveu Yamaha - - - - - - Paris - Algiers - Dakar
1980 SwedenSweden F. Kottulinsky Volkswagen FranceFrance C. Neveu Yamaha AlgeriaAlgeria M. Ataouat Sonacome - - - - Paris – Algiers – Dakar
1981 FranceFrance R. Metge Range Rover FranceFrance H. Auriol BMW FranceFrance A. Villette ALM / ACMAT - - - - Paris – Algiers – Dakar
1982 FranceFrance C. Marreau Renault FranceFrance C. Neveu Honda FranceFrance G. Groine Mercedes Benz - - - - Paris – Algiers – Dakar
1983 BelgiumBelgium J. Ickx Mercedes Benz FranceFrance H. Auriol BMW FranceFrance G. Groine Mercedes Benz - - - - Paris – Algiers – Dakar
1984 FranceFrance R. Metge Porsche BelgiumBelgium G. Rahier BMW FranceFrance P. Lalleu Mercedes Benz - - - - Paris – Algiers – Dakar
1985 FranceFrance P. Zaniroli Mitsubishi BelgiumBelgium G. Rahier BMW GermanyGermany K.-F. Capito Mercedes Benz - - - - Paris – Algiers – Dakar
1986 FranceFrance R. Metge Porsche FranceFrance C. Neveu Honda ItalyItaly G. Vismara Mercedes Benz - - - - Paris – Algiers – Dakar
1987 FinlandFinland A. Vatanen Peugeot FranceFrance C. Neveu Honda NetherlandsNetherlands J. de Rooy DAF - - - - Paris – Algiers – Dakar
1988 FinlandFinland J. Kankkunen Peugeot ItalyItaly E. Orioli Honda Czech RepublicCzech Republic K. Loprais Tatra Mountains - - - - Paris – Algiers – Dakar
1989 FinlandFinland A. Vatanen Peugeot FranceFrance G. Lalay Honda - - - - - - Paris – Tunis –Dakar
1990 FinlandFinland A. Vatanen Peugeot ItalyItaly E. Orioli Cagiva ItalyItaly G. Villa Perlini - - - - Paris - Tripoli - Dakar
1991 FinlandFinland A. Vatanen Citroën FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Yamaha FranceFrance J. Houssat Perlini - - - - Paris – Tripoli – Dakar
1992 FranceFrance H. Auriol Mitsubishi FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Yamaha ItalyItaly F. Perlini Perlini - - - - Paris– Sirt - Cape Town
1993 FranceFrance B. Saby Mitsubishi FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Yamaha ItalyItaly F. Perlini Perlini - - - - Paris - Tangier - Dakar
1994 FranceFrance P. Lartigue Citroën ItalyItaly E. Orioli Cagiva Czech RepublicCzech Republic K. Loprais Tatra Mountains - - - - Paris – Dakar – Paris
1995 FranceFrance P. Lartigue Citroën FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Yamaha Czech RepublicCzech Republic K. Loprais Tatra Mountains - - - - Granada - Dakar
1996 FranceFrance P. Lartigue Citroën ItalyItaly E. Orioli Yamaha RussiaRussia V. Moskovskich KAMAZ - - - - Granada – Dakar
1997 JapanJapan K. Shinozuka Mitsubishi FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Yamaha AustriaAustria P. Reif Hino - - - - Dakar - Agadez - Dakar
1998 FranceFrance J. Fontenay Mitsubishi FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Yamaha Czech RepublicCzech Republic K. Loprais Tatra Mountains - - - - Paris – Granada – Dakar
1999 FranceFrance J.-L. Schlesser Schlesser Renault FranceFrance R. Sainct BMW Czech RepublicCzech Republic K. Loprais Tatra Mountains - - - - Granada – Dakar
2000 FranceFranceJ.-L. Schlesser Schlesser Renault FranceFrance R. Sainct BMW RussiaRussia W. Tschagin KAMAZ - - - - Dakar– Cairo
2001 GermanyGermany J. Kleinschmidt Mitsubishi ItalyItaly F. Meoni KTM Czech RepublicCzech Republic K. Loprais Tatra Mountains - - - - Paris – Dakar
2002 JapanJapan H. Masuoka Mitsubishi ItalyItaly F. Meoni KTM RussiaRussia W. Tschagin KAMAZ - - - - Arras - Madrid - Dakar
2003 JapanJapan H. Masuoka Mitsubishi FranceFrance R. Sainct KTM RussiaRussia W. Tschagin KAMAZ - - - - Marseille - Sharm El Sheikh
2004 FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Mitsubishi SpainSpain N. Roma KTM RussiaRussia W. Tschagin KAMAZ - - - - Clermont-Ferrand -Dakar
2005 FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Mitsubishi FranceFrance C. Despres KTM RussiaRussia F. Kabirow KAMAZ - - - - Barcelona –Dakar
2006 FranceFrance L. Alphand Mitsubishi SpainSpain M. Coma KTM RussiaRussia W. Tschagin KAMAZ - - - - Lisbon - Dakar
2007 FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Mitsubishi FranceFrance C. Despres KTM NetherlandsNetherlands H. Stacey MAN - - - - Lisbon – Dakar
2008 On January 4th, 2008, one day before the scheduled start, canceled for safety reasons. The replacement event was the Central Europe Rally . Originally planned route: Lisbon – Dakar
2009 South AfricaSouth Africa G. de Villiers Volkswagen SpainSpain M. Coma KTM RussiaRussia F. Kabirow KAMAZ Czech RepublicCzech Republic J. Macháček Yamaha - - Buenos Aires - Valparaíso - Buenos Aires
2010 SpainSpain C. Sainz Volkswagen FranceFrance C. Despres KTM RussiaRussia W. Tschagin KAMAZ ArgentinaArgentina M. Patronelli Yamaha - - Buenos Aires- Antofagasta -Buenos Aires
2011 QatarQatar N. Al-Attiyah Volkswagen SpainSpain M. Coma KTM RussiaRussia W. Tschagin KAMAZ ArgentinaArgentina A. Patronelli Yamaha - - Buenos Aires – Arica –Buenos Aires
2012 FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Mini FranceFrance C. Despres KTM NetherlandsNetherlands G. de Rooy Iveco ArgentinaArgentina A. Patronelli Yamaha - - Mar del Plata - Lima
2013 FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Mini FranceFrance C. Despres KTM RussiaRussia E. Nikolayev KAMAZ ArgentinaArgentina M. Patronelli Yamaha - - Lima– Santiago de Chile
2014 SpainSpain N. Roma Mini SpainSpain M. Coma KTM RussiaRussia A. Karginov KAMAZ ChileChile I. Casale Yamaha - - Rosario - Valparaíso
2015 QatarQatar N. Al-Attiyah Mini SpainSpain M. Coma KTM RussiaRussia A. Mardeev KAMAZ PolandPoland R. Sonik Yamaha - - Buenos Aires – Iquique –Buenos Aires
2016 FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Peugeot AustraliaAustralia T. Price KTM NetherlandsNetherlands G. de Rooy Iveco ArgentinaArgentina M. Patronelli Yamaha - - Buenos Aires – Rosario
2017 FranceFrance S. Peterhansel Peugeot EnglandEngland S. Sunderland KTM RussiaRussia E. Nikolayev KAMAZ RussiaRussia S. Karyakin Yamaha BrazilBrazil L. Torres Polaris Asunción – Rio Cuarto – Buenos Aires
2018 SpainSpain C. Sainz Peugeot AustriaAustria M. Walkner KTM RussiaRussia E. Nikolayev KAMAZ ChileChile I. Casale Yamaha BrazilBrazil R. Varela Can-Am Lima-La Paz-Cordoba
2019 QatarQatar N. Al-Attiyah Toyota AustraliaAustralia T. Price KTM RussiaRussia E. Nikolayev KAMAZ ArgentinaArgentina N. Cavigliasso Yamaha ChileChile F. López Contardo Can-Am Lima – Arequipa – Lima
2020 SpainSpain C. Sainz Mini United StatesUnited States R. Brabec Honda RussiaRussia A. Karginov KAMAZ ChileChile I. Casale Yamaha United StatesUnited States C. Currie Can-Am Jeddah-Quiddiya

In 1985, Karl-Friedrich Capito and his son Jost Capito were the only German to win the truck classification of the rally. In 1997 the two Austrians Peter Reif and Johann Deinhofer won the truck ranking on a HINO truck.

Constructor victories


Victories constructor Year (s)
12 JapanJapan Mitsubishi 1985, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2001-2007
7th FranceFrance Peugeot 1987–1990, 2016–2018
5 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mini 2012–2015, 2020
4th FranceFrance Citroën 1991, 1994-1996
GermanyGermany Volkswagen 1980, 2009-2011
3 FranceFrance Renault 1982, 1999, 2000
2 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Land Rover 1979, 1981
GermanyGermany Porsche 1984, 1986
1 GermanyGermany Mercedes Benz 1983
JapanJapan Toyota 2019


Victories constructor Year (s)
18th AustriaAustria KTM 2001-2007, 2009-2019
9 JapanJapan Yamaha 1979, 1980, 1991-1993, 1995-1998
6th GermanyGermany BMW 1981, 1983–1985, 1999, 2000
JapanJapan Honda 1982, 1986–1989, 2020
2 ItalyItaly Cagiva 1990, 1994


Victories constructor Year (s)
17th RussiaRussia KAMAZ 1996, 2000, 2002–2006, 2009–2011, 2013–2015, 2017–2020
6th Czech RepublicCzech Republic Tatra Mountains 1988, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001
5 GermanyGermany Mercedes Benz 1982-1986
4th ItalyItaly Perlini 1990-1993
2 ItalyItaly Iveco 2012, 2016
1 AlgeriaAlgeria Sonacome 1980
FranceFrance ACMAT 1981
NetherlandsNetherlands DAF 1987
JapanJapan Hino 1997
GermanyGermany MAN 2007


Victories constructor Year (s)
12 JapanJapan Yamaha 2009-2020



Wreck of the DAF FAV3600 95X2 TurboTwin, which resulted in an accident in January 1988 (Kees van Loevezijn) in northern Ténéré

Due to the high number of deaths among racing drivers, spectators and in the organization team, the race repeatedly hit the headlines, but nevertheless (or because of it) it developed into one of the most famous sporting events worldwide. The race has claimed over 60 lives since its debut:

  • Thierry Sabine , the founder of the rally, the singer Daniel Balavoine , the pilot François Xavier-Bagnoud, the radio operator Jean-Paul Le Fur and Nathalie Odent, a journalist for the weekly Le Journal du Dimanche , died when her helicopter died on January 14, 1986 crashed.
  • Nine children were run over by rally participants, although the organizers have taken various safety measures for several years (speed limits when driving through the towns, combined with penalties for non-compliance, measures against possible dangers for the residents, using posters in the local language).
  • In recent times, motorcyclists in particular have had fatal accidents; so did the winner of 2001 and 2002, Fabrizio Meoni , in 2005. A year later, the Australian motorcyclist Andy Caldecott died , although it had already been decided before the 2006 competition to limit the speed to 160 km / h in future.
  • Over 30 participants from all vehicle classes and seven journalists were also killed.


The protest took on an international dimension through the action of the association CAVAD ( Collectif Actions pour les Victimes Anonymes du Dakar ; Eng . "Action collective for the anonymous victims of the Dakar Rally"). The CAVAD is an amalgamation of associations from France, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Mali, Guinea and Senegal. This association was founded in 2006 after the death of two children, Boubacar Diallo and Mohamed Ndaw, and calls for the rally to be abolished. A song, Stoppez le Dakar (“Stop the Dakar”), composed by a children's band from Marseille, was dedicated to them.

Your critics also believe that the rally represents ecological aggression and human contempt for African countries. This protest is also expressed in the song 500 connards sur la ligne de départ ("500 idiots on the starting line") by the French chansonnier Renaud .

Director and cameraman Nikolaus Geyrhalter also takes a critical look at the rally in his documentary 7915 KM, which he completed in 2008 . Along the rally route, it shows African locations in all their complexity and at the same time addresses wider economic and political conditions.

Another point of criticism is the exaggerated financial demands of the organizer Amaury Sport Organization on the host countries, in which large sections of the population still live in abject poverty. OSA does not contribute in any way to the costs of the terrain damage caused by the rally. She doesn't even put toilets at the start and finish points for the thousands of visitors. For this reason, more and more countries in South America have refused to participate until only Peru remained in the 2019 rally.

Participation and costs

The hosts of the rally have to pay entry fees in the millions to the organizer. The Peruvian government provided around 5.4 million euros (20.4 million soles) for participation in 2019. The cost of participating in the Dakar Rally varies depending on the vehicle. If you participate privately with a motorcycle, you can expect a total cost of at least 40,000 euros. Apart from the entry fee, visa and license fees, the question of the supply of spare parts and the maintenance or repair of the vehicle must also be clarified.

Web links

Commons : Dakar Rally  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Between two oceans, an extreme adventure. In: dakar.com .
  2. Dakar 2008 - The caravan moves across the Andes. ( Memento of August 25, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) In: eurosport.yahoo.com , February 12, 2008.
  3. Africa Eco Race: Numerous funding projects in Africa, a day of rest in Morocco. on .marathonrally.com
  4. Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia: Real Adventure
  5. https://www.dakar.com/en/competitors
  6. speedweek.com
  7. blick.ch Motorsport
  8. marathonrally.com
  9. Archived copy ( Memento from March 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  10. Dakar Rally 2019: schedule, route and starter
  11. Dakar Rally in the database of the International Ski Federation (English) (Luc Alphand in the World Cup)
  12. ^ Günther Wiesinger: 15th KTM triumph in a row: Without diligence, no price. In: Speedweek Online. Red Bulletin Schweiz AG, January 16, 2016, accessed on January 16, 2016 .
  13. Kay Hettich: Dakar Rally, final: KTM, triumphs, Husky P3! In: Speedweek Online. Red Bulletin Schweiz AG, January 16, 2016, accessed on January 16, 2016 .
  14. KTM driver Matthias Walkner wins Dakar Rally 2018. motorsport.com, January 20, 2018, accessed on February 6, 2019 .
  15. ASO cancels the 2008 edition of the Dakar rally. In: dakar.com , January 4, 2008 (English).
  16. Dakar Rally, start 02.01.2017 paraguay-auswandern.lima-city.de , accessed on 23 January 2019.
  17. Evento Rally Dakar Perú 2019 recibe S / 20.4 millones para su financiación gestion.pe , October 7, 2018, accessed on January 23, 2019.