The hand of Amaury Sport, organizing company of the Tour de France, never trembled at the

Dakar Rally


From the African editions, when he chartered emergency flights in the middle of the Sahara, to the jump to America, with a firm hand in the negotiations with Evo Morales.

The management of the pandemic, therefore, has presented another challenge for ASO and some Saudi authorities that are not distinguished precisely by their tempering tone.

After closing commercial flights, due to the new strain of Covid-19, the Dakar has created a bubble for the 3,000 members of its caravan.

Within the strict medical protocol, three negative results in PCR tests, the use of masks and total isolation from the outside are included, even on the day off.

In addition, pilots must undergo tests on the fly and adapt to the new regulations.

David castera

, Dakar director, aims to enhance the spirit of adventure of a race resolved last year at an average speed of 115 km / h.

To do this, it has delved into the restrictions that affect navigation.

The road books will be delivered on a tablet only 10 minutes before the start of each stage, so the previous work of the co-drivers and their informal collaborators with the maps will be meaningless.

Even more decisive seems to be the rules with the tires, the great workhorse of

Nasser Al-Attiyah

, who last year suffered a 25-minute bleeding due to punctures.

ASO has banned the provision of wheels for cars in the marathon stage, which covers the seventh and eighth days.

In the event that the two spare parts allowed during those 1,020 timed kilometers run out, each new wheel will incur a 15-minute penalty.

Something like goodbye to victory.

Therefore, Toyota Gazoo Racing has been racking its brains in search of a more resistant rubber for Al-Attiyah.

The new compound from BF Goodrich, the major supplier of the race, was successfully tested by

Giniel de Villiers

in South Africa.

At the moment, awaiting conclusive results on the ground, Japanese engineers are still working on improvements to the auto-inflation system, which worked so well in

Carlos Sainz's


in 2020. In recent weeks they have transferred the technology of the Yaris , your World Rally Car, to this Hilux that will glide through the desert at full speed.

In fact, the plan started this Saturday well for Al-Attiyah, leader after the prologue 36 seconds ahead of Sainz, who suffered a puncture on the right rear wheel two kilometers into the special.

The Qatari, with three Dakar in his record (2011, 2015 and 2019), is emerging as the most qualified to fight with

El Matador

, who in 2020 climbed to the top of the Jeddah podium by a narrow margin of six minutes.

On that same edge, the previous appointments have been resolved.

The suspension of the Rally of Morocco shifted attention to the Rally of Andalusia, where the Qatari prince took the victory with three minutes of advantage.

Even tighter was the pulse during Ha'il's double event, which closed the FIA ​​Cross Country World Cup.

Only a sanction, confirmed after crossing the finish line, opened the doors of victory for Sainz there.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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