The 2019 Dakar Rally Kicks Off Today – Here’s What To Expect

Which car will clinch victory in this year's race?

Stay tuned for more coverage of the 2019 Dakar Rally!

One of the world’s toughest off-road endurance races kicks off January 6th.

A rally raid race, the Dakar Rally combines brutal terrain and long distances for a truly challenging event. The 2019 race marks its 41st running. Now, competitors race through South America, this time from Lima to Pisco, Peru and back over 10 stages. The total race runs about 3,100 miles (5,000 km) and will take place through January 17.

Check out the official teaser below:

334 vehicles and 534 racers are competing this year, with 126 in the auto/UTV category (including 30 side-by-sides). There are also 167 bikes/quads and 41 large trucks competing in the event, not to mention all the support vehicles.

What cars are taking part?

Here, we’re focusing on the cars taking part in the rally. However, we’re also covering side-by-sides on TFLoffroad, as well as huge trucks over on TFLtruck. Cars competing in the rally range from Minis to large SUVs like Toyota Land Cruisers and Raneg Rovers.

Nine-time WRC champion Sebastian Loeb will compete in this year’s Dakar Rally. [Photo: Dakar Rally]

This year, it’s a clash of rally titans in the car category. Spanish driver Carlos Sainz – two-time WRC champion – will take part representing Mini. French driver Stephane Peterhansel, also racing in a Mini, will compete, as will nine-time WRC champion Sebastian Loeb, racing for Peugeot. All will square off for their shots at Dakar glory. NASCAR and IndyCar driver Robby Gordon will also take another shot after failing to clinch the Dakar rally in previous years.

Of course, there are plenty of other competitors running over the 3,100 mile race, in nearly every sort of vehicle imaginable. U.S. spectators can watch the 2019 Dakar Rally coverage on NBC from January 7 at 6:00 P.M. EST.

We’ll also be covering results of the 2019 Dakar Rally on, and, so stay tuned for more updates!