Dakar Rally redux: Aramcon revisits renowned race
Tariq S. Al-Rammah is back competing in one of the world’s most famous road rallies.
As the 43rd running of the Dakar Rally roars through the Kingdom, Aramcon Tariq S. Al-Rammah is re-living the dream of racing in his home country.
The race, which began Jan. 2 and runs through Jan. 16, features more than 555 global participants – including 16 women – as they embrace the thrill of one of the world’s most famous rally sporting events, as well as the Kingdom’s beautiful scenery.
Even as he prepared for this year’s event, Al-Rammah remained in awe of last year’s event. “I found the entire experience to be outstanding,” he said.
The event’s organization, the layout the track, and its spectacular routes, in addition to the adherence of high safety standards -- they all exceeded all of my expectations.
— Tariq S. Al-Rammah
Al-Rammah, who has long been fascinated by rally sports and worked hard to develop the skills to compete internationally, said that it’s nice to see what Saudi Arabia and its people can achieve. And he noticed great interest from rally participants, who admired the rally’s organization and safety standards during the entire event – it was also a great experience to introduce and share the country’s local culture with fellow drivers during the event.
This year, the Dakar 2021 rally has a theme of the Environment. Al-Rammah said the theme will help support ambitious initiatives to promote and develop electric solutions with low emissions in the near future – including the use of fuel-efficient engines, and green energy.
The Dakar rally has stringent rules and regulations in place, it’s not easy to be one of its participants. Prior to the start of the event, organizers inspect participant’s vehicles and ensure adherence to guidelines. Those who aren’t following regulations are immediately disqualified from the rally.
Safety and health first
Al-Rammah always promotes the importance of safety and protection of the environment – his goal is to always represent himself and Saudi Aramco with the best image. As he explained, the Dakar is more about being a safety event rather than an extreme sport.
“The rally will showcase Saudi Arabia’s talented pool of competitive drivers, showing the entire world what we can achieve in the spirit of completion,” said Al-Rammah.
Also, sanitary protocols have been established and are being implemented at the rally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event’s organizers, along with Saudi authorities, have developed sanitary protocols according to current sanitary regulations such as building a sanitary bubble, extensive PCR testing policy, and the wearing of masks. This safety strategy is governing every aspect of the Dakar Rally, from start to finish.
Caption for top photo: Tariq S. Al-Rammah, shown holding a Saudi flag after completing his first Dakar Rally, is back competing in one of the world’s most famous road rallies.