Speeding through the Saudi terrains.
The different forms of Rallies:
The World Rally Championship is the main rally competition and is considered the highest level of competition in the motorsport realm.
The Cross-Country Baja Rally consists of a season-long competition that spans different counties with some of the toughest terrains such as deserts, mountains, and icy tracks.
1. Yazeed Al Rajhi
Yazeed began his racing career in 2007 in an unofficial race in Jordan under the team name Al-Rajhi Racing Team, which was later changed to Yazeed Racing Team. His first World Rally Championship appearance was in the 2008 Rally Argentina. He competed in many rallies and won his first international Rally in 2018’s Silk Way Rally in Russia.
He won the first edition of the Saudi Desert Rally Championship in 2019 and finished in the top four in the 2020 Dakar Rally. In 2021, Yazeed won the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas for the first time and won in two stages of Rally Dakar, making him the first Saudi and Arab to win on home soil in his class and the youngest contestant to win a stage from Dakar that year.
In 2022, he also won the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas back to back. Now, Yazeed has a chance to set a new record for the Cross-Country Baja, becoming the first driver to win three consecutive cups and, thus, making history. Finally, Yazeed was able to impress everyone with his multiple top 10 finishes in many different stages of Dakar 2023 with a first-place finish in stage 7.
2. Dania Akeel
Dania Akeel began her motorsports journey in 2019, becoming the first Saudi woman to hold a Speed Bikes Competition license and the first Saudi woman to win a world cup for the Cross-Country Baja Rally in the T3 category in 2021.
In the Italian Baja Rally, she claimed the title in the eighth round, one round before the last, and claimed a Top 10 finish in the Dakar Rally that same year. She quickly became an influential sportsperson in Saudi, motivating many others to pursue a career in sports.
In 2022, Dania finished 8th in the Dakar Rally, claiming yet another Top 10 finish in her category, and was the runner-up in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas in the T3 category after the Argentine Fernando Álvarez. She ended the season with a second-place finish in the Dubai International Baja with 10 seconds difference between her and the winner.
She started the year with participation in the Dakar Rally with an impressive result and is set to make a massive impact in the upcoming Cross-Country Baja World Cup with hopes for another first-place finish in the T3 category.
3. Mashael Al Obaidan
Mashael Al Obaidan’s passion for adventure began with her dad gifting her a quad bike for her birthday. She grew fond of the experience and began exploring motorsports through dirt bikes and quads, making her way to rally racing in her Can-Am Maverick. She finished 8th in the 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Baja with her finish in the Baja Espana Aragón Rally in Spain and participated in the Dakar Rally 2022, finishing one stage.
Following her successful year, Mashael improved her position in the 2022 world cup to 3rd, with an impressive race in the Hail stage. Mashael participated in the Dakar 2023 and finished in the 24th position due to a 17 hours penalty because of a car issue they faced. We are excited to see Mashael in the Cross-Country Baja World Cup 2023 with hopes for a first-place win for the first time in her career.
4. Saeed Al Mouri
Considered one of the best drivers in the Middle East and especially in Saudi, Saeed is a multi-talented driver with participation in different formulas of racing. From Rallies to drifting, and even Hill Climb, Saeed does it all. In 2022, Saeed had a very successful year with wins in two different championships.
He finished in the top three of all stages of the Hill Climb championship while securing a win in the T4 category in the Rally championship after wins in 4 different stages.
Moreover, he was able to win the Time Attack championship with impressive results across the three stages ending his year with three local championships. In 2023, we hope to see Saeed secure wins once again and solidify his title as the most talented driver in the Middle East.
5. Mishal Alghunaim
Mishal Alghunaim, the Khobar native biker, turned his passion for riding into a professional career. He began competing in rallies back in 2017 where he started in the regional competitions and made a name for himself before stepping into the global scale and participating in the Dakar Rally 2020 in Saudi.
His goal was to become the first Saudi biker to cross the finish line of Dakar which he succeeded to do. He also participated in the 2022 edition of Rally Dakar and was able to complete the race once again. In the Saudi Toyota Championship, Mishal was able to secure impressive results throughout the year and is now becoming an inspiration for young Saudi bikers to take on this career path with plans to help increase sponsorships. He is set to participate in the upcoming Cross-Country Baja World Cup 2023.