Several outlets are reporting that the 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally may include one or more new countries. According to Autosport, ASO’s Rally Director David Castera confirmed that the organization is looking at adding other countries. He said that ASO’s agreement with Saudi Arabia required the first year to be in Saudi Arabia only. But from the second year on, the Dakar can travel to other countries.
According to Castera:
[The agreement with Saudi Arabia] is five years, but in the second [year] it will open to other countries.”
Only the first year will it be held 100% in Saudi Arabia and then we will evaluate other countries too. For example, there is Jordan. I’ve been talking with their representatives these days and they’ve asked me to go there.
In other words, there are countries that want to enter and we have the opportunity to do so. Egypt is very close [to Saudi Arabia]. It is true that it is not so simple, but it is clear that there are other countries that can enter.”
Although Castera noted that Jordan is a possibility, Autosport suggests that the Dakar could also go to Egypt. They point to Egypt having previously hosted stages of the rally in 2000 and 2003.
ASO announcement on the 2021 Dakar?
Interestingly, ASO has tweeted for its fans to “!! SAVE THE DATE!!” of Thursday, June 11th at 12:00 French time on their Facebook page. The tweet goes on to say “You will discover an outline of the course and the new sporting features.”
‼️ SAVE THE DATE ‼️
Watch the 2021 Dakar presentation on Thursday 11 June starting at 12:30 French time 🇫🇷 on our Facebook page.
➡️ You will discover an outline of the course and the new sporting features.#Dakar2021 pic.twitter.com/JWBVjL0XYv
— DAKAR RALLY (@dakar) June 4, 2020
We’ll be watching to see what the news is. It will be interesting to see whether ASO has been able to add a new country and find out “the new sporting features.” We’ll keep you up to date as more emerges.