The excitement of the World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) is heading for the heart of the UAE capital, with the 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (ADDC) getting underway on February 25th.
Long-time Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge organisers, the Emirates Motorsports Organisation (EMSO), brought the ADDC to the inaugural W2RC season in 2022, and are excited to present an all-new version of the event to the rally-raid community this year.
Khalid Bin Sulayem, the EMSO President, commented: “Despite only entering its second season, the World Rally-Raid Championship has already surpassed its counterparts to represent the highest level of the sport.
“The FIA and FIM joining forces for the first time to create this championship was an exciting time in the cross-country rally world, and we are thrilled to be a part of the story.
“The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge brings a lot of its own history to the championship, and it continues to grow and adapt under the EMSO’s supervision. The thriving city of Abu Dhabi convenes with tradition and ancient terrain to make a rally that is both glamorous and technical – and we look forward to seeing what history is made this time around.
This year’s ADDC will be the most challenging yet as the EMSO raises the stakes. The competitors will have an even longer route to tackle, taking on 237 kilometres more than in 2022 for an intimidating total of 2170 kilometres.
The formidable route takes the competitors away from HQ, which will be situated in the heart of the vibrant city of Abu Dhabi, closer to the public where all in attendance can experience the beating heart of the Middle East.
Amongst these competitors will be the lucky winners of the “Road to Dakar.” Organised by the ASO as part of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the “Road to Dakar” is open to rookies in both the FIM Rally 2 and FIA SSV T4. The winning competitors from these categories will be awarded with free registration in the same category in the 2024 Dakar Rally as the ASO and EMSO look to encourage young talent in the sport.
While Nasser Al-Attiyah was crowned Dakar champion again this year, it is Sébastien Loeb who tops the provisional standings in the W2RC by 2 points. On the bikes, Kevin Benavides made his comeback after zero points in the Dakar last season to top the championship standings as the competitors now make their way to Abu Dhabi.
With expectations for this year’s rally riding high, join what promises to be an action-packed Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge by visiting the event’s official website (www.abudhabidesertchallenge.com) and registering by 18 February 2023.