On your marks!
The rally, a marathon across vast swathes of desert, is a legendary event in the motor racing world – we’re talking about the Dakar Rally here. Its 42nd staging saw vehicles and additional equipment transported on a Messina Line ro-ro ship.
Dakar 2020 – the former Paris–Dakar Rally – is a venerable old event; the first-ever race was staged in 1978. The 42nd edition of the rally in the history of the race, which took place from 5 – 17 January, was the first edition to take place entirely in Saudi Arabia. The equipment that was needed to compete had to arrive on time in Jeddah, the first station of the race that set out for Riyadh, due to be reached after twelve stages.
Five lane kilometres worth of material
The vehicles were shipped from France to the Saudi port of Jeddah, from where they were due to cover approximately 8,000 km across the desert. An agreement between the forwarder of the Saudi sports ministry, AET, the ASO Group, the rally’s organiser, and the Italian shipping line Ignazio Messina saw the latter transport the cargo on the maritime leg. The ASO Group organises the race, as well as of other events such as the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. Ignazio Messina deployed its Jolly Palladio ro-ro ship, which was built in 2015 and which sails under the Italian flag. It has gas scrubbers on board that conform to the latest regulations for the protection of the environment.
In Jeddah the vessel of the Messina Line, which is a part of the Genoa-based shipping firm Ignazio Messina, unloaded 140 motorbikes, 72 cars, 45 lorries, 43 SSVs, 20 quads, 300 service vehicles and ten helicopters. Between them they had covered five lane kilometres in the hold.
CEO Ignazio Messina said that “we’re proud to have delivered the vehicles for the famous Dakar Rally 2020, which is taking place in Saudi Arabia this year, a country that we have served since 1936.” Once the race was completed the rally vehicles were transported back to Marseille towards the end of January on the same Italian ship.