The regulations of the 2022 Dakar will also apply to the other rounds of the Cross-Country World Championship, following years of joint work with the FIA and FIM to restructure the sport. The dual goal of following the trend towards energy transition and keeping the suspense going until the end of the season combines with the never-ending quest to make the competition safer and fairer.

Scoring points until the finish 

In order to stoke the fire of competition throughout the year in the FIA and FIM cross-country world championships, the Dakar regulations now let riders, drivers and crews start a stage even if they have not been able to finish the previous one. While a heavy penalty will rule them out of contention for the places of honour in the general standings, these competitors will get to continue the race and accumulate points according to their position in each stage, enabling them to remain a force to be reckoned with for the world championship, for example. In other words, the “Dakar Experience” format is extended to the entire field, subject to similar conditions: no more than three days before resuming the race; no more than three unfinished stages; permission from the medical service

Cars and trucks: digital roadbook for everyone

The vision for navigation in the Dakar has been revamped since colour was added to the roadbooks and, then, the decision not to hand them out until right before the start of the specials, which became the general rule last January. “Tablets”, a digital version of the roadbooks, made their debut in the cockpits of the elite crews in 2021. From now on, this tool will supersede physical roadbooks for all competitors.

Road Book illustration during the Dakar 2021’s Administrative and Technical scrutineering in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from January 1 to 2, 2021
Road Book illustration during the Dakar 2021’s Administrative and Technical scrutineering in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from January 1 to 2, 2021 © A.S.O./F.Le Floc'h/DPPI

Categories: the same grid for the whole season

  • T1-Ultimate, the road to the future. The launch of the T1.U category embodies the vision for an elite car field composed of alternative fuel vehicles as soon as 2026. Although it will be a small category in its first year, it is expected to grow at a supersonic pace thanks to the commitment of numerous constructors and tuners eager to tackle the “Dakar Future” challenge.
  • T1+, fighting on an equal footing. The desire to strike the right balance among the top vehicles led the Dakar sporting teams to amend the technical regulations for the T1 category in collaboration with the bodies of the FIA. Among other changes, prototype 4×4s can now be equipped with wider and higher wheels and adjust their suspension travel to bring them to the same level as the buggies
  • T3/T4, two categories for lightweight vehicles. Lightweight buggies are the vehicle of the hour in rally raids because they can be used to enter prestigious races without breaking the bank and make it easier for bikers to switch to cars. In order to tidy up a category that spanned vehicles with very different levels of performance, it has been split in two. T4s, which keep the name “SSV series”, are extremely similar to the production models sold by constructors, while T3s, or “Lightweight prototypes”, may undergo more substantial modifications (e.g. restrictors and chassis) in the search for performance.
  • Rally GP, for the elite motorbikes. A list of top bikers, many of whom race for factory teams, are recognised as the cream of the crop, in the same vein as MotoGP, the premier class of events held on circuits. Similarly, the rest of the field will compete in the Rally 2 category, broken down into multiple classes.

A sustained commitment to safety

  •  The measures introduced in 2021 to reduce speeds and mitigate the risk of serious crashes remain in place. For example, “slow zones” will be implemented in certain hazardous sectors. Any competitor caught speeding will receive a penalty. Meanwhile, the decision to make airbag vests mandatory for bikers and quad riders is based on the technical advances made by the manufacturers that make these devices.
  • The Dakar teams have started working together with the FIM to rethink helmet designs and draw up new technical standards. As a provisional measure, a minimum weight of 1.1 kg has been established, which rules out the use of certain ultra-light helmets found to provide inadequate protection.

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