Dakar Rally Announces New ‘Classics’ Category
The Dakar Rally has been around since the late 1970s, back when it started as more of a grass-roots race known as the Paris-Dakar, and has since grown considerably into one of the most demanding and popular races on the planet. And to celebrate its rich history, organizers have announced a new category starting with the 2021 event: The Dakar Classic.
The Dakar Classic will be open to cars and trucks that could have raced – or actually did race – the Paris-Dakar during the 1980s and ’90s, as well as period-accurate replicas. Though they’ll start and finish at the same points as the regular racers, this category will have its own parallel route. Classic motorcycles, however, don’t seem to be included.
“While the rally is headed towards its future, towards environmentally friendly energies, it is important for us to pay a tribute to the pioneers of the Dakar, to allow them to relive the sense of adventure, the sense of discovery,” said Dakar director David Castera in a video on the Dakar site.
This brings up some interesting possibilities, and hopefully we’ll see plenty of older Land Rovers, Citroëns and maybe even a Renault 4 or Rolls-Royce Corniche. And however unlikely it may be, we can still hope that Porsche Museum will bring its Dakar-winning 953 for at least one more run.
The rally has since moved on from Africa, of course, and the next event will exclusively run in Saudi Arabia from 3-15 January.
*Images courtesy of Porsche, Nissan, Mercedes and Peugeot. You can also read more about the Volkswagen Iltis HERE