SHUBAYTAH > SHUBAYTAH
01-11 - 01-12-2024 - Stage 6
This unprecedented challenge has the competitors quaking in their boots. While this is also a two-day stage, the experience of marathon stages will not be of much use in the new paradigm of the 48 h chrono stage. Imagine the grandiose clang of a bell filling the twilight air in the Empty Quarter, ordering every single competitor to halt their vehicle and spend the night under the starry skies before getting back on the move at sunrise. This is how this new challenge will work. The time limit is 4 pm. When the clock strikes four, the entrants will have to stop at the next of the six rest areas that punctuate the course of the special (see the map). Once they get there, the competitors will receive bare-bones camping material and just enough provisions to make it through the night in the desert, without any connection and, therefore, without any information on how their rivals are doing. Cut off from the rest of the world.
Never before have the title contenders in the motorbike category spent eight hours in a special. The Empty Quarter, with dunes as far as the eye can see, will set the scene for this historic first. The race is no stranger to this area, but the difficulty of this larger-than-life special has been kicked up a notch. Chotts will give the competitors some time to breathe between one dune chain and the next. However, the navigation will be fiendishly difficult, with hard-to-find courses and hidden WPs that will drive many entrants round the bend: "I won't be winning any popularity contests", sighs David Castera. In fact, his old brothers in arms in the car category will face the same challenge as the two-wheelers. The FIA and FIM entrants will follow separate courses, so the co-drivers will have to do without the motorbikes' traces.
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