Imagine 20 football fields, one after another. Replace perfectly manicured turf with tons of sand. Now divide the image in two. On one side, there are 45 support trucks to haul catering, medical supplies, race control, satellite antennas, TV production, and more from one bivouac to the next. Decorate the other side with a rainbow of tents and flags, plus bright artificial lighting for working at night. Add a soundtrack of generators and the inviting scent of barbecue wafting from campfires spread here and there. This colorful caravan followed the 2020 Dakar Rally in support of the 553 competitors and 351 vehicles—134 cars and side by sides, 47 trucks, and 170 motorcycles and quads—that contested the 12-stage event.
2020 Dakar Rally By The Numbers
2,500: People, the caravan of the Rally including competitors, teams, organization, and media
300: People to set up and tear down bivouac
250: Tons transported daily
90: Caterers to feed 2,500 people
72: Hours to set up bivouac
60: Facilities for race direction, competitor support, medical and media centers, TV editing bays, catering, showers/toilets, and prayer room
48: Hours to dismantle bivouac
45: Trucks for transporting bivouac
15: Bivouac footprint in hectares (37 acres)
10: Helicopters (four for medical, six for the TV production and race supervision)
4: Trucks carrying generators to power rally
1: Boat that transported supplies and vehicles from Marseille to Jeddah
In total, the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) moved 80 cars, 50 trucks, 10 helicopters, 15 buses, and eight aircraft for two weeks across 7,000 kilometers. In addition, the teams transported their own support trucks, pickups, and campers. As for the racers themselves, the bivouac presented its own challenges.