Dakar Rally organisers have just released next year’s route map and a revised set of rules for 2021.

Dakar Rally 2021: NEW route and rules confirmed

Taking place in Saudi Arabia for the second year, the famous rally event will run from January 3 – 15 2021. Starting and finishing in Jeddah, the new route traverses the desert before heading along the coastline of the Red Sea.

The big news is that there’s going to be some changes to the rules for next year – following the deaths of motorcyclists Paulo Goncalves and Edwin Straver at this year’s rally. For 2021, airbag vests will be mandatory for all motorcycle and quadbike riders. Competitors will also be warned when approaching difficult zones, while particularly dangerous sections of the route will be marked as ‘slow zones’, where a 55mph (90kph) speed limit will be enforced.

Dakar Rally 2021: NEW route and rules confirmed

For 2021, time penalties will be implemented if competitors have to change pistons more than once, even if the rest of the engine remains the same. That’s not all, riders won’t able to work on their bikes at refuelling stations – and riders in the top class will only be allowed a total of six rear tyres for the entire rally.

Next year, we’re also going to have the Dakar Classic to look forward to. It’s a new event that’s going to run parallel with the main race – specifically for vehicles that took part in the Dakar (or other big rally events) before 2000.

Ross Mowbray
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