Monday, May 27, 2024

Mohammed Al-Twaijri returning to Dakar Rally in 2024

Save for a withdrawal before the 2023 edition, Mohammed Al-Twaijri has been involved with the Dakar Rally each year since its move to his home country of Saudi Arabia in 2020. This will continue for 2024, as he confirmed on social media on Tuesday.

Driving a Toyota Land Cruiser in the T1 category, Al-Twaijri finished fiftieth overall in his first Dakar in 2020 with a best stage performance of forty-sixth on the final day. He was one of four Saudi drivers who represented the host nation that year.

In 2022, Al-Twaijri was one of three entries competing in an Open category for vehicles that did not meet traditional T1 regulation. Although stage retirements kept him third throughout the rally, he topped the class twice in stages #8 and #10 and reached the finish.

Al-Twaijri was to return in 2023 in the #249 Nissan Navara T1, but withdrew before the event. Still, he was present at the rally to support the field.

He mainly races in the Saudi Toyota Championship, placing third in the 2022 T1P standings for T1 petrol vehicles. Al-Twaijri has also competed in rounds of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas such as the Baja Jordan and Ha’il International Rally, as well as traditional rally like the Dubai and Kuwait International Rallies. The Riyadh native had been a regular at the Ha’il Rally from 2006 until 2020, having raced his personal car with safety improvements in the first edition before upgrading to race-specific models in 2012. His race cars since then have exclusively been built in Saudi Arabia, including his Dakar challengers hence his Nissan at the 2022 Rally being in the Open class.

The 2024 Dakar Rally begins on 5 January.