Today was the day as all eyes from around the world were on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to announce the unveiling of a new chapter for the first time in Asia to host Dakar Rally 2020 in a 10-year partnership with the Kingdom's General Sports Authority at an event in Al-Qaddiya.
Starting in Jeddah on Jan. 5 with the drivers set to race through Al-Madinah, Tabuk and Ha’il regions before a having a rest day in Riyadh. From the capital, the route winds its way back toward the coast through the Asir region and ends in Al-Qiddiya near Riyadh on Jan.17 after 12 stages and 9,000km of competitive running in the winter time.
The chairman of the General Sports Authority (GSA) Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal announced a 10-year partnership with the Dakar Rally, saying: "We want the world to see the captivating desert of Saudi Arabia and to get to know the good and hospitable people of the Kingdom that looks forward to receiving the world."
His Royal Highness, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud @AbdulazizTF, chairman of the @gsaksa_en⁰🎙 « Dakar rally will grow farther and we will write a new chapter! We are happy that we all together witness this big event for the first time in the region!⁰#Dakar2020 pic.twitter.com/or6Dm0LOUc— DAKAR RALLY (@dakar) April 25, 2019
“Our country is extremely passionate about sport and our strategic goal is to feed that appetite as we move further towards achieving Vision 2030 of which sport is a basic pillar.
“In hosting Dakar Rally we aim to produce an unbelievable and unforgettable experience for drivers as they discover the beauty of Saudi nature and a unique spectacle for motorsport fans not only in Saudi Arabia but also in the region and around the world,” he added.
Prince Abdul Aziz concluded his speech by welcoming the guests of the Kingdom saying: "Welcome to Dakar ... and welcome to the Kingdom of Goodness, Determination and the Future."
The Grand Prix featured a tour of the Dakar History Exhibition, a video about Saudi Arabia, a presentation on the history of the Dakar Rally, performances of previous rallies in France, North Africa and South America, and a video of the world's leading contestants and joint dialogue sessions.
On the other side, his Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal, President of the Saudi Federation of Automobiles and Motorcycles, expressed his feelings of holding the Dakar Rally for the first time in the Kingdom of Asia. "We are writing a new page in the history of motorsport in the Kingdom today, With the support of our wise and rational leadership, which has paid great attention to the youth of the country, as well as the efforts of the brother of the President of the Commission to host such a big event, and I do not forget the efforts of my colleagues in the Saudi Federation of cars and motorcycles. "
"Our partnership with Dakar is our first step together, and now we are working hard to make this the best version in its history, with participants from all over the world taking part. We will consolidate our commitment to develop sports, improve driving standards and conditions, At the same time, we want to create the best and most challenging competitions for our young men and women in the Kingdom to show the world their abilities and skills in driving cars and bicycles, and the skills of leading international events and events. The team that will lead this event will be the ambitious Pride in their roles and potentials."
The Dakar started in 1977 as a race from Paris and across the Sahara desert to the Senegalese capital in West Africa and has long been regarded as the world's toughest motorsport challenge. 10 years ago, it has been held in South America until a new continent has been added to the adventure memories of Dakar Rally's history.
Motorlat has spoken to Two-times winner Carlos Sainz and said "Definitely It's going to be a good step for the right direction of the race to explore new country, new culture a country which you know a good to be ideally in terrain, landscape a lot, It's a fantastic opportunity for Dakar Rally, and It's also a fantastic opportunity for Saudi Arabia to join the Dakar Rally in a perfect time together to build a new big race."
And when I asked him about the different terrains with different continents that he has been racing in he said:"
"I don't know enough about the terrain and what we are going to face but I'm sure that Dakar race will prepare a demanding race, I'm probably here and waiting for more a little bit like of Africa different terrains and different landscape so a big adventure."
Carlos Sainz, who took apart of the press conference which was held in Al-Qaddiya near Riyadh, was taking the next flight to Baku to Attend Azerbaijan Grand Prix to support his son, Carlos Sainz Jr, who joined Mclaren F1 for the 2019 season replacing Fernando Alonso.