The 2019 Dakar Rally

Jake Cooper - 21 Dec 2018


For motorsport fans, cross-country rallying is one of the most exciting events to watch and to bet on. While there are dozens of rally events throughout the year, none of them come close to the difficulty, the distance and the prestige of the Dakar Rally.

The history of the Dakar dates back to 1977 when rally driver Thierry Sabine got lost in the Ténéré desert while competing in the Abidjan-Nice rally. His experience in the unforgiving dunes led him to believe that desert would be the ideal setting for a rally race.

Two years later the inaugural Paris to Dakar rally took place, with 182 vehicles setting off from Paris to their destination in Dakar Senegal.  The race included areas of off-road, sand dunes, rock, camel grass, mud and stone. Just 74 vehicles survived the 10 000km trip which cemented the race as the most exciting rally ever created. The race was then run every year up until 2008 when it was cancelled due to security threats in Mauritania. Since then all races have been run in South America.

Dates and Details

The 2019 Dakar Rally will get underway on the 6th of January 2019 and finish on the 17th. While previous years have seen the route pass through Peru, this will be the first year the entire rally will be raced within the borders of Peru only.

In a bid to push the envelope on what the drivers can handle, the race organisers have made 2019, the most difficult of all. Of the 5000km, approximately 70% or 3000km will be raced on sand. The race will start and end in Lima while traveling through Pisco, San Juan deMarcona, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna.

Racing Classes and Betting Options

The Dakar Rally is split into 4 main vehicle classes including cars, trucks, motorbikes and quads. Unlike other rally races, cars and trucks are specially designed off-road vehicles rather than modified road models. Quads used to be a sub-class of motorbikes but now have their own official class. The three other classes still retain the most interest and attract the most viewership.

For anyone wanting to be on the race, the main options include predicting the winning driver/team of each of the four categories including winning car team, winning bike rider, winning truck team and winning quad driver. It is also possible to bet on each stage of the race on which team/rider will post the fastest time of that stage.

For more information on betting markets check out William Hill, Sports, Bodog, Spin Palace Sports, 888 Sport and Betway Sports. uses cookies to give the best experience possible. Please read our Cookie Policy for more details