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The host country will be Saudi Arabia for the fifth consecutive year. A prologue run is set to be held on January 5, 2024, in the country’s northwest in AlUla, with the full-scale rally starting on the 6th of January.
The first half of the rally will head towards the vast dunes known as the Empty Quarter. Stages 3 and 4 will be marathon stages where mechanics are only permitted to provide service for two hours, the same as last year’s rally. In the sixth stage, being attempted for the first time in the Dakar Rally, a 48-hour Chrono Stage* has been set for January 11 and 12, followed by a rest day on January 13 in Riyadh, the country’s capital.
The second half of this 12-stage, 15-day rally will take teams through Ha'il and AlUla as they head north from Riyadh, reaching the finish line on January 19 in Yanbu on the west coast. The total distance to be covered is approximately 8,000 km, with 4,700 km of competition sections. People are commenting that this Dakar Rally, the fifth in Saudi Arabia, will be the toughest and most demanding on both the people and the cars.
*48-hour Chrono Stage: Competitors must complete approximately 600 km in the Empty Quarter within a 48-hour window. On the first day of the stage, driving will be cut off at 4 p.m. Because bivouacs will be assigned according to arrival points, cars will not be able to receive support from their teammates if they arrive at the wrong bivouac, meaning they will need to solve more issues alone. For this reason, the stage is expected to be even more difficult than the familiar marathon stage.