Saudi women set to make history at Dakar Rally


WATCH extended one-hour highlights from each stage of the Dakar Rally 2022 – January 2-15 (AEDT) – EXCLUSIVE and FREE on SBS and SBS On Demand.

The duo will become the first female driver from Saudi Arabia to take part in the Dakar rally, with the 44th edition of the race set to start in Riyadh on January 2.

Al-Obaidan and Akeel will have to cover up to 600 km per day if they are to complete the grueling 8,375 km endurance rally that crosses the most difficult desert terrain.

What makes the couple’s accomplishment even more incredible is the fact that women were not allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia until a ban was lifted in 2018.

“Driving on this famous event in Saudi Arabia is a dream come true,” Al-Obaidan said.

“I do what I love and I get so much support from people who say what I do inspires a lot of people.

“When I finished seventh in the most difficult round of the series (FIA Bajas Cross Country World Cup), against competitors who had been practicing the sport for over 15 years, I knew I could do it. To do.

“I quickly realized that I was opening doors and breaking down barriers with my accomplishments. We are paving the way for women to understand the journey we are taking and to join us.”

Akeel has spent the past year recovering from a broken spine and multiple pelvic fractures following a track crash in Bahrain, but that hasn’t stopped her from running as she has won the overall title of the FIA ​​Bajas Cross Country World Cup.

“These months after the accident were painful, but in some ways I was lucky because I didn’t need the surgery. In motorsport you accept the risks and ultimately , you have to make a choice, ”Akeel said.

“You have to respect the Dakar. It’s the longest rally on the calendar and Saudi Arabia is an amazing place. You can travel 200 km and the scenery, terrain and weather can change three or four times.

Dakar Rally 2022 on SBS

Sunday January 2

Prologue Extended Highlights

Available in the morning via SBS On Demand and on SBS from 5 p.m. (AEDT)

Monday January 3

Step 1 Extended Highlights

Available in the morning via SBS On Demand and on SBS from 5 p.m. (AEDT)

Tuesday 4 January

Step 2 Extended Highlights

Available in the morning via SBS On Demand and on SBS from 5 p.m. (AEDT)

Wednesday 5 January

Step 3 Extended Highlights

Available in the morning via SBS On Demand and on SBS from 5 p.m. (AEDT)

Thursday January 6

Step 4 Extended Highlights

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friday january 7

Step 5 Extended Highlights

Available in the morning via SBS On Demand and on SBS from 5 p.m. (AEDT)

Saturday 8 January

Step 6 Extended Highlights

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Sunday January 9

Highlights of the extended rest day

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Monday January 10

Step 7 Extended Highlights

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Tuesday January 11

Step 8 Extended Highlights

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wednesday 12 january

Step 9 Extended Highlights

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Thursday January 13

Step 10 Extended Highlights

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Friday January 14

Step 11 Extended Highlights

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saturday january 15

Step 12 Extended Highlights

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