All-wheel drive better than buggies?
The 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally will take place from January 3rd to 15th. There is a clear favorite this year: Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Al-Attiyah should also have an advantage technically: In 2020, Carlos Sainz kept his nose in front in the battle of technical concepts (buggy / rear-wheel drive versus all-wheel drive) in the X-Raid all-wheel-drive mini. This year the all-wheel drive should have advantages. This is due to the fact that the route over 7646 kilometers and twelve stages is much more technical, but also slower than 2020. All-wheel drive drivers have better cards out of tight bends than cars that are only driven on the rear axle.
All-wheel drive 2021 at an advantage
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These technical advantages also resulted in the fact that the buggies were faster than the all-wheel drive, especially in terms of top speed. Last year’s winner Sainz and the other rear-wheel drive cars raced over the desert areas of Saudi Arabia at over 190 km / h. This will no longer work in 2021, not only because of the changed route. In 2021, a top speed limit of 180 km / h was introduced for safety reasons. Another point that will weaken the buggies.
But that doesn’t mean that Al-Attiyah won the Dakar Rally 2021 before it even started. “In cross-country sport, the driver and the passenger are also very important,” says Kleinschmidt. Mistakes happen quickly, technical breakdowns are always possible. 24 of the 75 cars registered are Toyotas (three different models). Not all of them are works-supported, but even within the group, Al-Attiyah has real competition with local hero Yazeed Al-Rajhi or with former Dakar winner Giniel de Villiers. Incidentally, A-Rajhi’s co-driver is the German Dirk von Zitzewitz.
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