Classics return to Dakar in 2021

dakar to feature classic cars

The dates for 2021 Dakar have been released but it’s the addition of classic cars to the draw that’s got us most excited.

There’s no doubting just how tough Dakar is. Sure, it ain’t the race it used to be…for a start it doesn’t run to Dakar. Nope, it’s in Jedah now but it’s just as tough on both man/woman and machine. And while it’s always been pretty cool, we reckon the 2021 running will be the best yet. It’ll run from 3-15 January 2021 and registrations opened today (June 15).

See, the organisers have announced that a new class will be added to the roster, which will see recreations of classic Dakar racers allowed to race. Yep, this means we’ll potentially see nut case entrants like the Pajero Evo, Citroen ZX (yep, don’t laugh – the ZX won three years running in the 1990s), Porsche 959 and others like Peugeot 205 and 405 T16. And a Range Rover won in 1979 and again in 1981 and some even ran things like Toyota LandCruisers and Nissan Patrols.

Besides the classic entrants, 2021 Dakar will be quite different from those of years gone by and is being called Chapter Three (Chapter One is Africa, Chapter Two was South America). For instance, there will be a focus on navigation and safety, “the rules have been amended to slow down the vehicles and, in general, to make the race even safer. Aural warnings in the approach to certain difficulties, the definition of “slow zones”, the reduction in the number of tyres available to bikers and the mandatory use of airbag vests will help to curb risks,” the organisers said.

Forget the rules, revel in the glory of vintage Dakar.

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.