The 2024 Dakar Rally kicks off tomorrow in Saudi Arabia and runs for the next two weeks from January 5-19. This is the 46th running of the event and the fifth time the rally’s been held in Saudi Arabia. The 2024 course poses some new challenges including one prologue, 12 stages, and a 48 hour layover to make up 14 days of exciting racing. We’ll be here to bring you all the action so stay tuned to this thread throughout the race.
Dakar Rally Daily
For now, catch up on the fourth season of the Dakar Rally Daily Podcast. Listen in as hosts Quinn Cody and Jesse Ziegler recap a hectic 2023 FIM World Rally Raid Championship calendar and set the stage for the 2024 Dakar Rally.
Teams & Riders
Here’s a quick glimpse at the major players in the 2024 Dakar Rally.
Husqvarna – We have to start with the 2023 FIM World Rally Raid Champion, Luciano Benavides. The lone Husqvarna rider is again set to pilot his FR 450 Rally in the 2024 kickoff round. “Last year’s Dakar gave me a lot of confidence and motivation to know that I have what it takes to win. Winning stage six was something that changed my mind and perspective on racing and confirmed to me that to be a Dakar champion is my dream.”
Honda – Honda HRC announced their factory rally team along with a new generation of their CRF450R Rally Racer. The team consists of six riders including former Dakar winner, Ricky Brabec, along with Pablo Quintanilla, Skyler Howes, Nacho Cornejo, Adrien Van Beveren, and Tosha Schareina. Howes is a new addition to the Honda team after finishing third overall at the rally in 2023. Schareina also gets the bump up to the factory squad for 2024.
KTM – The dynasty that is the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team consists of the same two riders, Kevin Benavides and Toby Price. Their third rider, Matthias Walkner, will miss the race after a brutal training crash injured his left leg. Benavides is the reigning Dakar winner, taking victory at the 2023 rally ahead of Price by only 43 seconds. Price is going for his third career victory in what’s set to be his 10th Dakar Rally.
Sherco – Sherco is again fielding a factory-supported team with three riders. #15 Lorenzo Santolino, #19 Rui Gonçalves, and #20 Harith Noah are all ready to perform for the French manufacturer.
GasGas – The third and final Austrian brand is back with a two rider duo of Sam Sunderland and Daniel Sanders. Sunderland’s a two-time winner and Sanders narrowly missed out on the overall podium in his first ever Dakar back in 2021. Both riders struggled with injuries in 2023 and need to stay healthy if they want a shot at the win in 2024.
Hero MotorSports – Hero is another underdog team with some heavy hitters who can certainly take stage wins. Look for Joaquim Rodrigues, Joan Barreda, Ross Branch, and Sebastian Bühler on Hero machines during the rally.
Mason Klein – We’ve got to give a shoutout to the young American, Mason Klein. He won stage two in 2023 but lost his ride on the BAS KTM team for the 2024 rally. This year he’s riding a Kove and is looking for more success as his rally career continues to grow.
Jacob Argubright – Another American on the roster is Jacob Argubright. While on a privateer program, he’ll be piloting a Honda CRF450 Rally with support from RedMoto. He joins Brabec and Howes as American notables riding Honda machinery.