Dakar 2024
Sunset during the Prologue of the Dakar 2023, on December 31, 2022 near Yanbu, Saudi Arabia - Photo Julien Delfosse / DPPI

The opening ceremony for Dakar 2024 takes place on the 4th of January 2024 – These are the South Africans taking on the challenge this year:

 

Saudi Arabia (03 January 2024) – The Dakar is being hosted in the Kindom of Saudi Arabia for the fifth year running. The massive sporting event always kicks off the new year and is the first major sporting event each year.

This year, the gruelling event will run from the 5th of January until the 19th of January. Stage 1 begins in AlUla and ends with Stage 12 in Yanbu. Saturday the 13th of January is the only rest day, where riders, drivers and crews can catch up on sleep and any repairs.

“The route, which will cover an equivalent distance of 5, 000 kilometres, of special stages continues the exploration of Saudi territory, with 60% of all-new sections. A total of nine bivouacs will be set up on a large swathe running west-east, crisscrossing the route in both directions to a final finish in Yanbu, on the shores of the Red Sea.” – Dakar

This year, there will be an added challenge to the event that is set to make things more exciting! It is called the 48-hour stage…

“This is a new stage format, contested over two days with the constraints of a marathon stage, although competitors are permitted to help each other during the evening. But this time, there will be no choice of canteen or repair companions, as the drivers and crews will be spread out over eight different bivouacs. When the clocks strike 4 pm, all vehicles will be required to stop at the next bivouac they come across. With no connection and therefore no visibility of their rivals’ performances, the competitors will camp and set off again at 7 am the following day to complete the remaining section of the route. The tally will be counted after around 600 kilometres of special stage.”

Each year, several South Africans take to the dunes in the hopes of outlasting their fellow international competitors.

These are the South Africans flying the flag high through each stage in Dakar 2024.

  • Bradley Cox (#18) – riding a KTM for Bas World KTM Racing Team.
  • Michael Docherty (#22) – riding a KTM for Bas World KTM Racing Team.
  • Charan Moore (#73) – riding a Husqvarna for HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing.
  • Stuart Gregory (#100) – riding a KTM for himself.
  • Kerim Fitz-Gerald (#124) – riding a KTM for BAS World KTM Racing.
  • Ronald Venter (#127) – riding a KTM for Nomade Racing.
  • Giniel De Villiers (pilot) and Dennis Murphy (co-pilot) (#209) – driving a Toyota for Toyota Gazoo Racing
  • Brian Baragwanath (pilot) and Leonard Cremer (co-pilot) (#219) – driving a Century for Century Racing Factory Team
  • Gareth Woolridge (pilot) and Boyd Dreyer (co-pilot) (#225) – driving a Ford Ranger for Ford M Sport in the T1+: Prototype Cross-Country Cars 4×4.
  • Saood Variawa (pilot) with French co-pilot Francois Cazalet (#226) – driving a Toyota for Toyota Gazoo Racing
  • David Guy Botterill (pilot) and Brett Cummings (co-pilot) (#243) – driving a Toyota for Toyota Gazoo Racing
  • Hennie De Klerk (pilot) and Juan Möhr (co-pilot) (#258)- a Toyota Hilux in the T1+: Prototype Cross-Country Cars 4×4 class.
  • Katherine (pilot) and Stephen Lovemore (co-pilot) (#742)- driving a Toyota HDJ 80 in the Classic class under the team “Dream and the Pap Snoek”.
  • Adriaan (pilot) and Riaan Botma (co-pilot) (#753) – driving a Toyota HDJ 80 in the Classic class under the team “Botma”.

Sources: Dakar 2024 Media Zone
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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