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What is Dakar Classic?

The Dakar Classic is a regularity and navigation rally held parallel to the Dakar Rally, organized by A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organisation) from France. Unlike the Dakar Rally, where the fastest crew wins, in Dakar Classic, it's not about being the fastest but rather about adhering to the time allocated for each stage by the organizers. It is a test of punctuality and navigation.

Dakar Classic participants share the same bivouac and transfers with the Dakar Rally, but the route is different.

Participants must undergo the following tests:

  • Regularity Test (RTs): Participants must maintain the prescribed average speed and stay as close as possible to the ideal time.

  • Navigation Test (NTs): Participants must follow the official route and pass all waypoints while trying to cover as few kilometers as possible without exceeding the time limit.

  • Dunes Test (DTs): Participants must validate waypoints. This test is mandatory for the H2 and H3 groups and optional for the H0 and H1 groups.

Each stage may consist of several RTs, NTs, or DTs. The itinerary details and various controls and transfers are outlined in the time card handed out to the crews at the start of each stage.

Penalties are given in points, with penalties for speeding (also monetary fines for road sections), exceeding kilometers, and more. During an RT, the maximum speed is limited to 140 km/h for cars and 120 km/h for trucks.

The winner is the participant with the fewest points at the end of the rally.

If a crew is unable to complete a stage on their own, they may continue the rally in the remaining stages after making the necessary repairs. However, they will receive the maximum penalties for each skipped TC/CP/RT/NT/DT (H2, H3).

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Who can compete?

The crew consists of two members (driver and co-driver) and two or
three members for trucks (driver, co-driver [and mechanic]).

Each crew member must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Hold a valid driving license for the respective vehicle category.

  • Hold a valid international driver/entrant license for participating in an international regularity race.


Only the crews listed on the registration form are admitted to the start. The absence of any crew member or the presence of additional people on board leads to disqualification.


How long does the Dakar Classic last?

The Dakar Classic takes place simultaneously with the Dakar Rally, in January each year, currently in Saudi Arabia, and lasts for about three weeks.

How to enter?

To enter the Dakar Classic, you need to register an account and apply. After your application is confirmed, you must pay the entry fee within the amounts and timelines provided.


Which categories are available in Dakar Classic?

Vehicles are categorized by their production period as follows:

  • Period A – Vehicles produced before 01/01/1986

  • Period B – Vehicles produced from 01/01/1986 to 31/12/1996

  • Period C – Vehicles produced from 01/01/1997 to 31/12/1999

Then divided into four groups:

  • Group H0 – Low average speed (for less powerful vehicles – no turbo engines – not accessible for period C vehicles)

  • Group H1 – Moderate average speed (accessible to all, ideal for less powerful cars – not accessible for period C vehicles except for leaf spring vehicles)

  • Group H2 – Intermediate average speed (10% to 15% higher average speeds)

  • Group H3 – High average speed (25% to 35% higher average speeds – not accessible for period A vehicles)

Dakar Classic Peugeot 405 Saudi

What do I need to compete in Dakar Classic?

There are several things to consider depending on what you already have. Here is a brief overview of the requirements:
- Service crew (mechanics, engineer)
- Coordinator (for all documentation and communication with race officials)
- Service truck with spare parts and tools
- Spare parts based on the maintenance plan plus extras for damages
- Tires
- Vehicle
- Assistance truck
- Fuel
- Navigation equipment, satellite communication
- Camper or tent
- Flights to and from the race
- Vehicle insurance
- Personal safety equipment (helmet, overalls, shoes)

According to the regulations, each vehicle must carry:
- An easily accessible medical kit (refer to FIA Technical List No. 83)
- A survival kit containing the following items:
  - 1 reflective triangle
  - Seat belt cutters accessible when belted in
  - 2 motorcycle or work goggles (with a soft edge)
  - 2 safety vests
  - 1 safety light
  - 1 × 9 m towing belt
  - Warm clothes and shoes
  - 1.5 liters of non-alcoholic beverages per person accessible when belted in
  - 1 hand shovel
  - 2 sand ladders
  - A minimum of 2 spare wheels
  - Survival food supplies (e.g., PowerBar or similar)
  - A reserve of 5 liters of drinking water

How much does it cost to compete in Dakar Classic?

First, you need to pay an entry fee, which is set at 18,000 EUR for cars and 23,000 EUR for trucks.

The entry fee includes:
- Boat trips for vehicles from Europe to Saudi Arabia and back (ports to be announced)
- Sporting rights
- Medical assistance
- Food and beverages at bivouacs
- Insurance, including motor liability insurance along the route and medical repatriation insurance
- GPS Tripy rental
- IriTrack satellite tracking system rental
- Refueling for competitors during the race
- Eco contribution
- Visa charges

These fees do not include:
- Vehicle repatriation if withdrawn from the race
- Travel costs
- Satellite phone rental (not mandatory)

The entry fee for additional assistance vehicles ranges from 2500 EUR (car) to 35000 EUR (semitruck), depending on the vehicle type. There are several restrictions and requirements for assistance vehicles in terms of quantity and equipment.

The rest depends on what you already have – whether the car is yours or if you plan to rent one, if you have your own service crew or plan to hire one for the event, what spare parts you have, personal safety equipment, etc.


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