Rallying is one of the most challenging tests for drivers around the world.
Drivers race on some of the roughest terrains at speeds that we underestimate and with out-of-this-world precision. Unlike other motor races, rally drivers race against the clock rather than their opponent, making for an exciting yet complex sport. Read on for an in-depth look at the adrenaline-inducing world of rallying in Saudi.
What you need to know about rally racing starts with its technicalities of it. First off, the drivers often drive within desert terrains, going from the starting point to the finish line using a special GPS system that tells them the fastest possible route.
In terms of racers, traditionally, each contesting team is made of two people inside the car or truck; the driver and the navigator. However, there are races designed for other types of vehicles, such as motorcycles and quad bikes, where the solo driver acts as the rider and the navigator. Also, each rally is also split into different stages where the team’s completion times are added and compared with the other drivers.
Rallies of Saudi Arabia
Rallying is a popular sport in Saudi due to the multiple challenging terrains the country possesses making it perfect for rallies. The sport was first introduced to Saudi in 2004 in the Hail Region where they hosted a competition for locals with prizes for the winners.
It slowly developed further to include different regions of the country, such as Riyadh, Qassim, Jeddah, and more recently, NEOM and AlUla. More recently, Hail became a main global location which is included in the World cup for the Cross-Country Baja Rally with racers from all over the world coming to Saudi to compete in the Hail Rally. On a local scale, the Saudi Toyota Championship is the highest level of competition in Saudi. It includes many different types of Motorsports such as drag racing, drifting, and most importantly, rallies.
The rallies span four different cities; Hail, Asser, Qassim, and Jeddah. For the 2023 season, the championship starts with Rally Hail on February 2nd till 4th and is the first stage in the World Cup for Cross Country Baja season. The schedule of the remaining cities is yet to be announced.
How to watch the rally
If you want to witness the drivers in action, you will have to wait till the track is announced and try to catch them along the way within the dunes of Hail.
Rally Vehicles Categories:
They are usually the category with the highest number of participants in races and are conducted by a single driver taking the role of the navigator.
Another category in which the vehicles are driven by a driver taking the role of the navigator, they are highly modified to increase speed and have a better suspension system.
Highly modified road cars that are improved to sustain the conditions of the races. They have usually stripped apart with nothing remaining the same but the car body.
The trucks category is the most interesting of them all. These trucks are modified to go on very high speeds and are able to sustain some of the toughest terrains.
- Cross Country vehicles
They are divided into two categories according to their weight. The T3, (Lightweight prototype vehicles) and T4 (Lightweight series production).