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W2RC – 2024 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship calendar gets green light


There will be five rounds on next year’s schedule, which will start in January at the Dakar and finish at the Rallye du Maroc in October.

2024 calendar FIA World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC)

The five-round 2024 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) calendar submitted by the series’ promoter Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) has been approved today, August 31st, via an e-vote by the FIA World Motor Sport Council. The only real change to the 2023 calendar is the replacement of the Sonora Rally in México by Portugal’s BP Ultimate Rally-Raid Transibérico, which will also feature stages in Spain.

For the third season of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship, competitors will head to South America, in addition to visiting two established events in the Middle East, the new European round and a return to the traditional season finale at the Rallye du Maroc in North Africa.

The Dakar Rally gets the 2024 W2RC underway a week later than has been customary. Competitive action will take place between January 5th and 19th, with the start this year in Alula and the finish at the Red Sea port of Yanbu. The next edition of the world’s most famous cross-country event will be based entirely in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia again, crosses the northern, central and south-eastern deserts of the vast kingdom and heads deep into the remote Empty Quarter for a second year. 

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge ran for the first time in 1991 and one of the most difficult events in the world maintains its position as round two in the calendar at the end of February 2024. The event offers seasonally high temperatures and the challenge of the towering sand dunes of the remote Rub Al-Khali. 

The BP Ultimate Rally-Raid Transibérico is the only European round of the series at the start of April 2024. A former round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup in the mid-noughties, the new-look event will provide its own unique challenge on narrow and demanding rural tracks through Portugal and western Spain. 

Argentina’s renowned Desafio Ruta 40 remains in the calendar for a second year and will run earlier in the season at the start of June. The event uses desert stages adjacent to Argentina’s Ruta Nacional 40. 

The Rallye du Maroc retains its position as the final round of the premier cross-country series and offers the unique challenge of demanding dunes, rocky terrain and perilous navigation. 

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA President, said: “The A.S.O. and the FIA have been working hard behind the scenes to continue to improve the appeal of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship. Cross-country rallying is one of the fastest growing sporting disciplines under the FIA umbrella and we are delighted to see how the W2RC has attained a global reach in such a short space of time. As the founder of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in 1991, I am delighted that it is an integral part of the W2RC, having been an ever present in the FIA cross-country calendar since 1993. It’s also pleasing to see a new event introduced into the calendar. Portugal and Spain have a strong culture and extended practice of cross-country rallying and the new event will enable spectators in this region to see the best in the world in action on their doorstep.”

David Castera, A.S.O. Motor Sports Director, said: "Season 3 of the W2RC is already starting to take shape on the January 2024 horizon. The constant growth of the field this year shows just how successful this format has become. The 2024 calendar will follow the same recipe, which blends tradition, continuity and innovation. Apart from the three major events of the sport, the theme of the current season has been the exploration of the Americas. This will continue next season, when the Desafío Ruta 40 in Argentina, which is coming back from its hiatus this year, returns for a new edition. Mirroring its inaugural campaign, the W2RC will head to Europe, this time for the BP Ultimate Rally-Raid Transibérico, a geographically closer and less expensive gateway to the sport for competitors, teams and fans from this continent, which remains the leading incubator of rally raids. This new event will make an impact in more ways than one because it runs through Portugal and Spain, two countries that stand out for their motor sports know-how and tradition. This time more than ever, the calendar will be a hit with rookies and veterans alike."