For the first time in its long history, the Dakar Rally will be run in one country… Peru. Starting and finishing in Lima, competitors will be faced with all the traditional elements of gravel, sand dunes and desert as they battle throughout the southern region of the country.
By
SBS Sport

Source:
Dakar Rally
21 Dec 2018 - 11:28 AM  UPDATED 21 Dec 2018 - 12:16 PM

Asked to define the degree of difficulty of the 2019 edition, race director Etienne Lavigne responded “It is a little like as if we were competing in the Vendée Globe only in the roaring 40s.”

334 vehicles will start on January 6th, and as always, the first goal of all Dakar competitors will be simply to finish. Those who do return to the capital on January 17th will have conquered both mind and machine over 5,000 kilometres, including 3,000 of special stage.

For the title contenders, the course will require the ability to navigate without detours in open terrain and the physical strength to battle in the sandy sectors than include massive dune crossings.

Dakar 2019: The Route

On two wheels, the indestructible KTMs are the team to beat. The Austrian manufacturer boasts the winners of the three previous editions, Matthias Walkner, Sam Sunderland and Aussie Toby Price.

Reliability, not speed, will be the question the chasing pack needs to answer. Kevin Benavides, Paulo Gonçalves and Joan Barreda will line up on the Hondas, while Adrien Van Beveren and Xavier De Soultrait will represent Yamaha.

Aussies to tackle Dakar Rally 2019 in Holden Ute
Australians Steve Riley and Trev Hanks will be competing together in the 2019 Dakar Rally in Peru and for the first time, a Holden Ute will be at the start line.

In the car class, the former Peugeot stars Carlos Sainz, Cyril Despres and ‘Mr Dakar’ Stephane Peterhansel have moved to Mini, where they join Nani Roma, Kuba Przygonski and Orlando Terranova. Nasser Al Attiyah, Giniel De Villiers and Bernhard Ten Brinke look to be their biggest challengers in the Toyotas. While Sébastien Loeb will race in a privateer Peugeot, and brash American Robby Gordon returns following a three year hiatus in the largest car field since 2015.

The truck division see’s Team De Rooy, led by a returning Gerard De Rooy, taking on the favourites from Kamaz.

Dakar 2019: The Contenders

Beyond the battle for the three major titles, The number of rally newcomers totals 135 competitors, allowing 97 vehicles, (30% of the field) to compete for rookie of the year honours.

The SxS category includes 30 entrants and a battle that promises to be a tight one between former quad category winner Sergey Karyakin, retired bike rider Gerard Farrés (3rd in 2017) and the star of American off-road Casey Currie.

While the largest female field of competitors has assembled since the beginning of the Dakar’s South American era. They will be 17, including the legendary Laia Sanz in the bike category, Camelia Liparoti and Rosa Romero in the car category and Annett Fischer and Andrea Peterhansel in SxS.

Half-marathon: the second chance

The disappointments are sometimes cruel on the Dakar, especially in the case of a premature retirement after just a few hundred kilometres of action. This year, the cars, trucks and SxS that experience this hardship in the opening half of the rally will be able to re-join the rally following the rest day in a parallel competition. Competing in a separate classification, these vehicles will run with an orange plate and will never be permitted to start in the first 25 places of a special stage.

Best of Dakar 2018

WATCH the highlights of DAKAR 2019 FREE and in HD on SBS daily at 6pm from Tuesday 8th January or streamed live via SBS Sport and SBS On Demand. Stage replay also available on SBS VICELAND. 

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, Stage 1
Tuesday January 8

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
1910-1940

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, Stage 2
Wednesday January 9

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
1905-1935

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, Stage 3
Thursday January 10

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
1905-1935

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, Stage 4
Friday January 11

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
2430-2500

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, Stage 5
Saturday January 12

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
2535-2605

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, REST DAY program
Sunday January 13

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
2355-2425

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, Stage 6
Monday January 14

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
1900-1930

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, Stage 7
Tuesday January 15

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
1900-1930

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, Stage 8
Wednesday January 16

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
1900-1930

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, Stage 9
Thursday January 17

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
1900-1930

Dakar Rally Highlights 2019, Stage 10
Friday January 18

SBS
1800 – 1830

SBS VICELAND
1900-1930