Nostalgic Race Fans Rejoice: The “Dakar Classic” Returns for 2023!

It's a spin on the iconic rally that brings in vehicles built more than 20 years ago

2023 niva lada

If you miss older Dakar racing vehicles performing in the rough, I’m pleased to say that the Dakar Classic will return for the 2023 race!

Part of the overall race series since 2020, the Dakar Classic competition returns to the 2023 rally, with a few updates. Just like previous “Classic” races, there are some stipulations that racers must meet. If the racing vehicle participated (or was licensed to participate) more than 20 years ago, it can compete.

There are even more competitors this year, which makes for a more competitive grid. According to Dakar officials, about 20% of the course will now be judged only based on navigation, and there will be no stopwatch. Excess kilometer covered will cost the drivers points. So, like last year, racing all out, like the other classes in Dakar, isn’t part of it.

The Dakar Classic isn’t exactly a rally raid.

Here’s what officials have to say about the event:

“For the fourth edition of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia , 1st round of the FIA ​​and FIM 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship, which will be held from December 31, 2022 to January 15, 2023, a new itinerary has been concocted since the route will take the drivers and crews from the beaches of the Red Sea to those of the Arabian Gulf at Dammam. In its first edition, the “Dakar Classic” category attracted 24 vehicles from before the year 2000, whose drivers were able to rediscover the feeling of being rally-raid pioneers on the Saudi tracks. Images of a VW Beetle, a Peugeot 504, a Porsche 911 and Sunhill buggies also stole the show on TV and on social networks. The “Classic”: back to the future.”

This time around, the route has changed a bit. The Dakar Classic will not follow the exact route of the main rally. They will be in the same area, and they will share the bivouac. All in all, the classic rally is a mostly separate event. One that deserves a lot more fanfare.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.