France contemplates cancelling Dakar Rally amid terror threats

France contemplates cancelling Dakar Rally amid terror threats
France contemplates cancelling Dakar Rally amid terror threats. image: [email protected]

Dakar Rally could be cancelled in the wake of terror threats in Saudi Arabia

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign Minister has hinted that the 2022 Dakar Rally is in serious danger of being cancelled. Speaking with BFMTV television, the minister spoke about the explosion that occurred in a Sodicars Racing team support vehicle last Thursday, December 30.

The vehicle exploded in front of the Donatello Hotel in Jeddah, leaving French driver Philippe Boutron in a coma in hospital, with serious injuries. “We thought maybe it was worth giving up on this sporting event. The organisers decided to go ahead, but with caution. In any case, the question is still on the table”, he assured.

Le Drian has asked Saudi Arabia to carry out a transparency exercise in the investigation of the explosion. Saudi authorities had tried to pass it off as a minor accident, but the general belief among participants is that it was a possible terrorist attack.


“We have asked the organisers and the Saudi officials to be very transparent, because there are hypotheses that it could have been a terrorist attack”, Le Drian told the television channel.

Boutron thankfully came out of his coma yesterday, Thursday, January 6, but with a reserved prognosis. His family have thanked his co-driver Mayeul Barbet for his work. He helped to extract Boutron from the vehicle after the explosion, and prevented him from bleeding by applying two tourniquets to his wounds.

Saudi security agencies concluded on January 1 that “the initial evidence collection procedures did not point to any type of criminal suspicion”. Boutron’s colleagues claim that the detonation was due to a bomb placed under the car. This has led the French Prosecutor’s Office to open its own anti-terrorist investigation this past Tuesday 4.

“What can cause an explosion under a vehicle if it is not an explosive device? The bomb was placed under the driver’s pedals, which explains why Phillipe was the only one injured” pointed out team spokeswoman Marie-France Estenave.

Le Drian has even declared that the French Government was on the verge of requesting the cancellation of the event. France is still considering the idea of ​​stopping the Dakar Rally, although right now there is only the rest day, and then six more days left out of the 12.

The investigation has put the entire Dakar event on alert, although, for now, what is transmitted from the bivouac is tranquility. But there will be meetings, as reported by


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Chris was born in a small village in Wales, where he ran his own successful construction company for many years, before deciding in 1990, to swap the grey skies and rain for the sunshine and lifestyle of the Costa del Sol. Late last year he made the move to Southern Portugal, and is now residing on the Algarve. Having sung and played in a rock band back in Wales, he still likes to go out and entertain in his spare time, singing in restaurants and golf clubs. Interests are of course music, especially from the 60s and 70s, movies, nice restaurants, and he has a passion for graphic design and online marketing.


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