The FIM and FIA have announced the official 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship calendar with the 45th edition of the Dakar Rally kickstarting the season and both the Sonora Rally in Mexico, and Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina, bringing Central and South America into the series.

For its second year in its revamped format, and with the FIA and FIM working jointly, the World Rally Raid Championship will take place over five different events next season.

As with year one of the new series, the Dakar Rally will form the first round of the championship in Saudi Arabia, kicking off on December 31, 2022. The championship will stay in the middle east for round two at the oldest event on the schedule (formerly the world cup), the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

Switching up the terrain and nations, the championship then heads for Central America and the Sonora Rally in Mexico in late April. For the many off-road riders in North America this is a well-known event which will bring the world championship into focus.

“We are both honoured and excited to be joining the world rally-raid championship.” Says Darren Skilton, Sonora Rally director. “It is a major turning point, not only for the American all-terrain community, but also for the state of Sonora in Mexico.

“This development is what we have been working for since the beginning, so to see this become reality is a dream come true. One of our main motivations is to bring together and develop a group of American drivers, both amateurs and professionals, with a view to participating in rally-raids and the Dakar.”

Part two of the season moves to South America and Argentina where many riders and drivers will be familiar with the terrain from previous years and also the Dakar at the Desafio Ruta 40 in August.

Finally, the W2RC season concludes on the traditional stage of the Rallye du Maroc in mid-October.

2023 World Rally-Raid Championship dates:


David Castera, Amaury Sport Organisation director of motorsports (A.S.O. promoter of World Rally-Raid Championship)

“As the first season of the W2RC comes to an end…it is particularly exciting to see that new organisers have chosen to join us, giving the championship even more consistency and balance.

“The addition of the Sonora Rally in Mexico and the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina allows the discipline to reassert its inclination for travelling that drives all its followers. The diversity of the territories proposed also ensures that different talents will be able to express themselves, making for a fine pitched battle between January and October among the rally raid riders, drivers and co-pilots.”