The 42nd Edition of the iconic Dakar Rally will see the world’s most gruelling rally come to the Middle East for the first time. This year’s Dakar Rally will take place entirely within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, beginning on Sunday 05 January 2020 in the Red Sea port of Jeddah – the gateway to Mecca. 

As befits the Dakar, the numbers for this year’s event are truly impressive. The 347 participants will cover some 7 500km of desert terrain during 12 stages, with intense competition guaranteed in all five Dakar categories: Bikes, Quads, Cars, SSVs and Trucks. 
There will be some 5 000km of special stages, five of which will be longer than 450km. After several editions of the Dakar in South America, this year will see competitors facing the dunes of the Saudi desert. 

“Motul is honoured to be the leading partner of the Dakar Rally for the third consecutive year,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “As well as providing support to almost 50 competitors, Motul will once again be sponsoring the Original by Motul category – that is, motorbike and quad riders taking part with no assistance at all.” 

The Original by Motul category entrants are the closest to the original spirit of the Dakar and represent the purest way that people and machines can take on some of the world’s most challenging conditions. The pioneering spirit of the Dakar – and the emphasis on performance and reliability – is also reflected in the Motul Lab service which will allow all Dakar competitors to analyse the lubricants from their vehicles to anticipate issues before they happen.  

Day 1 of Dakar 2020 (on Sunday 05 January) will see competitors head north along Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastline, ending in Al Wajh after 433km of liaison and 319km of special stage. The route passes through the scenic Yanbu Coastal Conservation Area – although it is unlikely that competitors will have time to take in the sights. This first day will serve as the perfect appetiser for Dakar 2020, as it will include at least some of each kind of terrain to be encountered during the entire Rally. 

The Original by Motul category will include two South Africans: Stuart Gregory (race number 100) and Wessel Bosman (123). Stuart is back for a second attempt after his agonising exit from last year’s event on the second-last day while Wessel is making a fifth attempt at finishing his first Dakar – at age 61. Like all Original by Motul competitors, they are counting on the camaraderie in the Bivouac to help them make it to the finish.  
In the car category, the Sabertooth Motoring Adventure/Red-Lined Nissan Navara (race number 342) has successfully passed all the scrutineering and documentation. “We’ve had a very hectic three days, working long hours”, reported Terence Marsh, Red-Lined Motoring Adventures CEO. “Now we’re ready to start the adventure with Sunday’s Stage 1; the team is in good spirits and well rested,” he confirmed. 

For live interviews, daily updates, great photos and videos from the Dakar 2020, including the Epic Story by Motul category, follow the official Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/motulza/ or the official Instagram account here: https://www.instagram.com/motul_south_africa/?hl=en 
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