Rally raid

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A Norwegian rally team is trying to complete one of the more difficult stages of the Budapest-Bamako rally in 2014.
2017 Kalahari 1000km Desert Race

Rally raid, also known as cross-country rallying, is a form of long distance off-road racing that takes place over several days.[1] Each day may require traveling up to 900 kilometres (560 mi).[1] The length of the event can be 3–15 days.[1] Examples of rally raid races include the Dakar Rally, Africa Eco Race, Silk Way Rally, Budapest-Bamako, TransAnatolia Rally Raid, Hellas Rally Raid in Greece,[2] Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Borneo Rally Raid, Baja Aragón, Raid De Himalaya, and Russian Baja Northern Forest.[3][1]

The first African rally raid run was the Côte-Côte Rally, first held in December 1976.[4]

While off-road Rally Raiding is dominated by the Dakar Rally, multiple event international competitions also exist; the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup and FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas for cars, buggies, SSVs, & trucks and the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship and FIM Bajas World Cup for motorbikes & quads. For amateurs the Budapest-Bamako has been considered the world's largest amateur rally raid spanning two continents and 9000 kilometers. [5]


Navigation is primarily accomplished using a paper roadbook in conjunction with a digital odometer to measure distance. The use of GPS or GPS-enabled devices, in contrast with desert racing, is not allowed. [6][7]

Vehicles and classes[edit]

The three major competitive groups in rally raid are the motorcycle (moto) class, the car class, ranging from buggies to SUVs, and the T4 & T5 truck class.

Moto class[edit]

The Moto class is divided between three groups. Group 1 is Marathon bikes, which are mildly modified production motorcycles, subdivided between engines of greater and less than 451 cc (28 cu in). Group 2 is Super-Production bikes, which are more substantially modified than Marathon bikes, subdivided between engines of greater and less than 451 cc. Group 3 is reserved for quads, and is subdivided between engines of greater and less than 500 cc.

Popular motorcycles include those made by KTM and Yamaha because many of their bikes have finished in top positions. BMW motorcycles and Triumph have also been successful in the Dakar.

Car class—T1, T2, T3 and Open[edit]

Bowler Wildcat rally-raid vehicle

The car class is made up of vehicles weighing less than 3,500 kg (7,716 lb) and subdivided into several categories. The T1 Group is made up of Improved Cross Country Vehicles, such as the Mitsubishi MRX09 Racing Lancer, Toyota Hilux overdrive[8], Mini X-raid buggy[9], and the T2 Group is made up of Cross Country Series Production vehicles such as Toyota Land Cruiser, Nissan Patrol y62 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. The Open class accepts weight-qualifying vehicles, such as SCORE International trucks, while the T3 category refers to Side by Side (UTV) vehicles made by Polaris, Yamaha, and Can-Am.

Originally, European utility vehicles like the Renault 4, Land Rover, Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz G, Volkswagen Iltis and the Pinzgauer, as well the Japanese Toyota Land Cruiser, dominated the sport.

Prominent examples in the Car Class included the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero, the Volkswagen Race Touareg, the Bowler Wildcat 200 and the Nissan Navara.

Truck class—T4 and T5[edit]

Kamaz 4326 modified for Dakar Rally

The Truck class, also known as "Camions" or "Lorries" is made up of vehicles weighing more than 3,500 kg (7,716 lb). They are divided into two groups, Group T4 and T5.

The T4 Group is made up of trucks that actually participate in the competition, while the T5 Group is reserved for rally support trucks, which means they travel from bivouac to bivouac to support other competition vehicles. The T4 Group is further divided into two subgroups: the T4.1 class for production trucks, and the T4.2 class for modified trucks. T4 trucks may provide assistance during the special stages, but must be homologated vehicles. T5 trucks do not have to be homologated.

The T4 Group has been composed of vehicles manufactured by Tatra, LIAZ, Volkswagen, Kamaz, Hino, Isuzu, MAN, DAF, MAZ, ZiL, Mercedes-Benz Unimog, Renault Kerax, Scania, Iveco and GINAF. In the 1980s, a strong rivalry between DAF and Mercedes-Benz led to vehicles which had twin engines and more than 1000 hp (750 kW). Later, Tatra and Kamaz took the race up. After 2000, renewed competition started in the truck class between DAF, Tatra, Mercedes-Benz and Kamaz.


  1. ^ a b c d "RallyRaid". RallyRaid. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  2. ^ "Hellas Rally Raid".
  3. ^ "News channel". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  4. ^ The Motorsport Memorial Team, info@motorsportmemorial.org. "Motorsport Memorial". Motorsport Memorial. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  5. ^ Race Dezert http://www.race-dezert.com/home/the-trans-saharan-budapest-bamako-rally-49536.html
  6. ^ "Top Five Differences Between Desert Racing And Rally Raid - race-deZert.com". race-dezert.com. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  7. ^ "FAQ". sonorarally.com. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  8. ^ Overdrive Toyota racing. "Home page".
  9. ^ Mini X-raid team. "Home page".