Nasser Al-Attiyah threatens not to return to the Dakar rally

The Qatari Toyota assured that the current regulations of the car category benefit buggies in excess.

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The five triumphs achieved by buggies in the last six editions of the Dakar rally they leave no room for doubt: it is the ideal vehicle to face the demanding race. But that is something that greatly displeases the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah, precisely the only one who managed to stop the dominance of these machines with the triumph he achieved with his Toyota Hilux 4 × 4 three years ago.

Nasser Al-Attiyah
Photo: Flavien Duhamel / Red Bull Content Pool.

“This is the second year that we are fighting and losing against buggies. We need to have fair rules ", from said Al-Attiyah to Motorsport.

“No matter how hard we can push, without speed we cannot close the gap. Buggies have been winning against 4 × 4s for five years because the rules have been made in their favor. I hope the organizers change it otherwise I am not interested in going back. It's not about where the buggy is best and where the 4 × 4 is best. The rules are not fair, just that ", Assured.

Although at the time International Automobile Federation limited maximum speed for vehicles of the class T1 a 180 km/h after pressure from the Japanese manufacturer, buggies still use wider tires, they have an inflation-deflation system that can be controlled from the cabin and a greater suspension travel than the 4 × 4.

Nasser Al-Attiyah
Photo: Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

Precisely, for Al-Attiyah, the first step to equate the performance of both types of vehicles must point to the tires. “Among the three cars in our team we had 106 punctures. That data speaks for itself. Buggies use a tire with a larger sidewall than those used on 4 × 4s. That means a much higher volume of air and consequently makes them much more tolerant of stony conditions. ", explained the Dakarian champion of 2011, 2015, 2019.

What will the FIA ​​do? The german Jutta kleinschmidt, FIA safety director for off-road racing gave a clue: “We are very aware of the great disadvantage between 4 × 4 and buggies. We also want fair regulations and this issue is already on the table "...

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, y and on the radios Rock pop y He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS.


  1. What Nasser says with respect to buggy tires that, as they are wider, puncture less, is not so.
    The wider the tire, the more prone it is to punctures. I drive various types of vehicles and those with wider tires get flat more often. Another very important thing to avoid punctures is the quality of the rubber and the thickness of the tire.

    1. I think Al-Attiyah refers more to how the tires withstand extreme rock situations and being larger they suffer less because of better distributing the weight of the vehicle over its larger surface

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