The three-time Dakar champ with his thoughts on the big shift to Saudi Arabia
What a time to be a fan of Motorsports! The world’s toughest rally is writing history again, and so we asked the three-time Dakar champion Nasser Al Attiyah all about the 2020 Dakar Rally.
After being based in Africa for 30 years, shifting to South America for 11 years, the mighty Dakar Rally has set Saudi Arabia as it’s next destination. the Dakar Rally’s Middle East debut means everything will come to change. The new region comes with new terrain, tough challenges, and unique adventures!
“We love the Dakar rally, it doesn’t matter where it moves.”, says Nasser Al Attiyah. “There’s a lot of Motorsports happening in the Middle East, like the Formula 1, the MotoGP, the Cross-Country Rallies and now we have the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia! I am sure it will be great and fantastic! Saudi Arabia is a big country and I think they can make a really good Dakar.”
With a long track-record of experience and success throughout the Middle-East, Qatar’s champion seems to be confident going into his next chapter of the mighty Dakar.
“I have a lot of experience with this terrain. I won the Hail Rally two times in Saudi Arabia, 2008 and 2011. I’ve won a lot of other races in the region. Yeah, I think it will not be difficult for me to be one of the stronger drivers at the next Dakar. We’re always looking at the podium.”, claimed Nasser Al Attiyah.
As the Dakar shifts to a totally different setting, drivers are expected to adapt to the vast changes to come. But it seems like the rally veteran is up for the big challenge, and that’s why he’s looking to be just as prepared for the big race!
“We are happy to have a new region, with new terrain. I am sure that Navigation will be very difficult for everybody, but I have enough experience with this kind of race. I will prepare strongly also, to be as fit as normal for the Dakar, and to be strong for the event”, explained Nasser Al Attiyah.
It seems like other Dakarists are also thrilled to see the changes coming. Thirteen-time Dakar winner, Stéphane Peterhansel is anticipating how it would feel to be racing in the deserts of Saudi Arabia!
“Considering it’s such a large country, with all kinds of terrain, the route should be really interesting. A lot of open desert gives me hope that the new Dakar will look and feel like Africa.”, says Stéphane Peterhansel.
We’re all excited to see what this announcement means for the world’s toughest rally event. Stay tuned as more details are set to be revealed about the 2020 Dakar Rally.