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Dates, route, new options and extra revealed

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In a presentation on Saturday, it was introduced that the 2025 Dakar Rally will kick off on 3 January from Bisha and conclude on the seventeenth of the identical month in Shubaytah, two locations which can be already acquainted to present rivals.

Rally director David Castera has engineered an occasion that seeks steadiness so as to preserve the thrill till the top, however with some key hurdles such because the now-famous 48-Hour Stage that was launched final yr, the marathon particular, a mass begin on at some point and a passage by way of the gruelling Empty Quarter sand desert in the direction of the top.

However maybe probably the most placing change is the distinction within the routes between automobiles/vans and bikes on sure days, which meant the ASO needed to lay out extra programs than standard.

Added to that will be a Energy Stage of kinds, very like the World Rally Championship does on Sundays at every occasion. It’s an thought that’s anticipated to make its approach to the remainder of the World Rally-Raid Championship by 2026 in an try to deliver rallies nearer to the general public.

What’s new for the 2025 Dakar Rally

Autosport sister web site, Motorsport.com Spain, sat down for a chat with Castera during which he defined what’s new for the Dakar Rally.

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Though he insisted he wished to maintain the journey by way of Empty Quarter in the identical type, he felt one thing needed to be carried out to maintain the rivals in optimum situation.

“This yr we now have carried out totally different routes for automobiles, vans and bikes. So we now have the 48-hour stage, which is [run over] two days, so I am engaged on 4 extra completely totally different particular levels for the classes, and there are three penalties,” he defined.

“The very first thing is that those behind, the amateurs, [they] would end very late at evening, as a result of in Saudi Arabia it will get darkish very early. If all of them begin collectively, as a result of they are going to all begin the identical for 300 metres and [then] they are going to separate their paths, they are going to come collectively to refuel and they’ll come again once more for the end,” he mentioned.

“That manner, hardly anybody will go [out] at evening. Except they’re very gradual or in hassle, they’re going to end the race the identical day, and for me it is one other manner of racing which is essential.

“The second consequence is that the automotive guys are going to need to navigate much more [without the trail left by bikes], the co-drivers are going to have numerous work to do.

“And the third is security, particularly for the bikes, which will not combine with the automobiles they usually will not have the mud, they will not overtake one another.

“On prime of that, we ended up with the Empty Quarter, one thing I’ve had in thoughts since we began work.

“Everybody may be very pleased with the dunes, however then we now have to see do it, with not very lengthy levels in the course of the rally, and I will do what no person thinks, as a result of it is also true that I prefer it.

“We can have three days, with levels 10 and 11 with massive dunes, and the small stage 12 to complete, with a mass begin paying homage to the {old} days of the Dakar, after they all began collectively.

“We try one thing like that, and we’re going to do the identical as within the WRC with the Energy Stage, whoever wins will get extra factors for the world championship,” he mentioned.

“So, we’re going to play a bit bit with the final particular stage, which is brief and goes to finish in a bivouac a bit bit particular, as a result of I like the concept of being near the desert, which is the DNA of the Dakar, and we’re going to do a conventional bivouac, a bit bit African-style, with the marathon tent to offer a unique contact, the spirit of what I like.”

Options of the Dakar Rally 2025

Castera wished to do one thing higher for every class, so automobiles/vans and bikes can have totally different routes on sure levels, however that is not all. The Frenchman mentioned he at all times listens to the opposite individuals round him, each rivals and his personal group at ASO, and that is how he got here up with the route for 2025.

Subsequently, the race will begin with a Prologue and a loop within the metropolis of Bisha. For levels 10, 11 and 12, the rivals will head in the direction of the damaging and unknown Empty Quarter, with particular levels that can be over 350 kilometres lengthy, along with the 48-hour particular that was so profitable within the final version of the occasion.

“The thought is to be kind of the identical as final yr, as a result of I’ve discovered a steadiness that I like, and that the drivers additionally like. They end very completely satisfied, so I need to proceed alongside that path, and we now have labored to keep up that stage of problem, there is no such thing as a particular stage with lower than 350 kilometres, aside from the final one, and every thing can be difficult”, Castera revealed.

On the technical aspect, there can be some modifications, with particular emphasis on the T2/inventory class, as there’s at present little or no curiosity within the class. The ASO is working to get extra producers to hitch Toyota. Castero spoke of Jaguar or Defender as candidates to enter, though he pondering extra about 2026 as a result of getting new producers on board “takes time”.

The ASO will take note of the efficiency of every automotive within the Final class, utilizing a Stability of Efficiency [BoP] system that’s similar to the one used within the World Endurance Championship. Nevertheless, this can be primarily based solely on the facility generated by a automotive by way of the engine’s torque stage. This enables “to be very exact concerning the energy of every automotive to attain the steadiness,” in line with Castera.

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