Al Ula (Saudi Arabia): Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia: Renowned Saudi driver Yazeed bin Mohammed Al-Rajhi is gearing up for the 46th edition of the famous Dakar Rally, marking his tenth year in this historic race. Al-Rajhi aims to achieve new milestones and showcase his sporting history filled with challenges in the toughest race in the world of motorsports.

Over the past decade of grueling competitions in the rally world, Al-Rajhi has achieved remarkable feats, solidifying his name among the prominent figures in desert rallying. His exceptional skills in navigating rough terrain and challenging weather conditions have been evident throughout the ten previous editions, both in Latin America during the first five years of his journey and in the Saudi Arabian territories over the last five years.

Al-Rajhi commenced his Dakar Rally journey in 2015 aboard a Toyota, demonstrating outstanding performance in his debut alongside German navigator Timo Gottschalk. Despite facing unexpected car issues in the penultimate stage, he secured notable positions in the overall standings across the 13 stages. Al-Rajhi claimed his first-ever victory in the eighth stage, marking the beginning of the Saudi champion’s journey.

Undoubtedly, Saudi talent has made a strong presence on the global stage of desert rallying, with Yazeed impressing the world in his inaugural appearance in Dakar. Despite encountering challenges over the years while driving various vehicles, including the Mini Cooper, the Rex, and the Toyota Hilux, Al-Rajhi became the first Saudi to achieve his best-ever result in Dakar, reaching the podium in 2022 in the top category with a Toyota Hilux.

In the Kingdom, the upcoming Dakar Rally will be the fifth edition on home soil, as Saudi Arabia successfully hosted five consecutive editions since 2020, becoming the home to the oldest and toughest rally on earth. The fifth edition of Dakar returns to Saudi Arabia with a completely new route from January 5 to January 19, covering approximately 8,500 kilometers across various regions. The race will pass through Al-Ula, Al-Hanakiyah, Ad-Dawadimi, As-Sulaimiyyah, Al-Hafoof, Shubaytah, Riyadh, Hail, and conclude in Yanbu. A total of 434 vehicles from different race categories will participate, featuring 778 drivers and navigators representing over 72 different countries.

Yazeed Al-Rajhi has established a strong reputation as a professional driver, leading a team that defies the odds. His journey over the past decade reflects unique sportsmanship and remarkable dedication, making him a pivotal force and a shining star in the world of desert rallying. He continues to ascend, aiming for more titles and achievements for his homeland through his participation in three different championships throughout the year alongside his German navigator Timo Gottschalk.

This year, Dakar introduced slight changes to its regulations. As customary, the organizers make the rally tougher each year, and Dakar is renowned for its challenging nature. Al-Rajhi anticipates tough competition, especially with the introduction of changes in the sporting regulations. Further details will be discussed in upcoming meetings at the camp, particularly in the sixth stage known as “Chrono 48.”

Al-Rajhi expressed his goal of winning the Dakar Rally title, stating, “We thank God for reaching this point after completing a challenging season for us. It’s the beginning of a new Dakar season, as usual, and we are ready for the tenth edition for me. Today marks a decade in Dakar.”

“There are minor changes in the Dakar Rally rules this year as well. As is customary every year, the organizers make the rally tougher than the previous year, and that’s what Dakar is known for. We expect tough competition, especially with the changes in the sporting regulations, and we will learn more about them in our upcoming meetings at the camp, especially in the sixth stage known as ‘Chrono 48.'”

“My goal is to win the Dakar Rally title, and we are doing our best to achieve that with my navigator Timo. Everything is under control, and our car is ready to participate in the 46th edition, adorned with the new official partner logo for motorsports, Jamil.”

In response, Timo expressed his full readiness for the decisive battle with the Saudi champion, stating, “I am fully prepared and very excited. I am always especially ready for someone representing his country, and that is Yazeed Al-Rajhi, who competes in Dakar on his home turf and among his fans. We all agree that we understand Yazeed’s speed here, and things were excellent last year until he faced technical issues.”

“From my perspective, I have participated in Dakar with Yazeed for five years, and I am very happy today to get a new opportunity to participate. Challenges in Dakar always make things more difficult, especially in the first week, which will be full of challenges, especially in the first part before reaching the Empty Quarter desert. In the first week, we will head towards the mountains and face more risks, such as stones causing tire explosions. After that, we will reach the Empty Quarter deserts and rest there. Regardless, we need speed, maintaining the car, and strategic thinking.”

“The second week also calls for caution. It seems that the challenges continue until the end, but attentiveness and a good team can achieve good results. We realize that we have a great team and an excellent driver, and we hope that I will do a good job. In the end, I believe we can achieve a good result, and I hope for that and more.”