For its second year in its revamped format, bringing together the FIA and FIM in a shared adventure, the world rally raid championships will take place over five different legs in 2023, with the kick-off of proceedings on 31st December 2022 for the 45th edition of the Dakar, in Saudi Arabia.

The contest will then continue on the oldest event on the schedule for the championships (formerly the world cup), namely the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with a new festival of dunes. Changes in terrain will enable proponents of different riding and driving styles to express themselves as the championship heads for Central America and the Sonora Rally in Mexico in late April.

The second part of the season will initially take place in South America, more specifically in Argentina, a land familiar to the Dakar, where many riders and drivers will come together to duke it out on the Desafio Ruta 40 in August. Finally, the finale of the W2RC will take place on the traditional stage of the Rallye du Maroc in mid-October.

David Castera, Amaury Sport Organisation director of motorsports (A.S.O. promoter of World Rally-Raid Championship): “As the first season of the W2RC comes to an end, which has given rise to a breath-takingly long-running intrigue since its inception, it is particularly exciting to see that new organisers have chosen to join us, giving this circuit even more consistency and balance. The addition of the Sonora Rally in Mexico and the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina allows the discipline to reassert its inclination for travelling that drives all its followers. The diversity of the territories proposed also ensures that different talents will be able to express themselves, making for a fine pitched battle between January and October among the rally raid riders, drivers and co-pilots”.

Khalid Bin Sulayem, EMSO President, reflects on the success of the sport: “For more than thirty years, we have had the privilege of hosting the elite in the rally-raid discipline in the United Arab Emirates. Joining the FIA and FIM world championships is a means of taking this process a step further. We wish to support the development of the discipline and raise it to the highest standards in all domains, especially in terms of safety. In view of the efforts made by the W2RC, promoter A.S.O. and our fellow organisers, we believe that this approach is both refreshing and constructive for the future of our sport”.

Darren Skilton, Sonora Rally director: “We are both honoured and excited to be joining the world rally-raid championship. It is a major turning point, not only for the American all-terrain community, but also for the state of Sonora in Mexico. This development is what we have been working for since the beginning, so to see this become reality is a dream come true. One of our main motivations is to bring together and develop a group of American drivers, both amateurs and professionals, with a view to participating in rally-raids and the Dakar”.

David Eli, organiser of the Desafio Ruta 40: “We are delighted that the Desafio Ruta 40 is back on the programme for the world championships. The rally was organised for the first time in 2010, and 2023 will witness its 11th edition. Since its beginnings, the race has reflected the essence of the Dakar, exploring Argentina from north to south, crossing breath-taking landscapes whilst proposing demanding stages thanks to a broad variety of terrains. At MasEventos, we have considerable organisational know-how and for this new edition we will be preparing a significant challenge in terms of both driving and navigation. It will be stimulating for riders, drivers and crews from all around the world”.

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