The 2023 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia was overshadowed by a fatal accident. During the ninth stage, a spectator was run over by a truck in the dunes. It was an Italian.

Organizer A.S.O. did not share any details. A brief statement read: “A spectator from Italy, who was standing behind a dune, was involved in an accident on the rally track. He was evacuated by helicopter but unfortunately he passed away during the transfer.”

Rumors arose that Lionel Baud’s Toyota and Ales Loprais’ truck had been involved in the accident. The incident had already happened after six kilometers. It was the area where Carlos Sainz (Audi) had his accident.

A video on social networks shows that Loprais caught the viewer. The fan tried to get out of the way but fell in the sand. Organizer A.S.O. did not want to give any further details about the accident.

This year the Dakar Rally will be held for the 45th time. Driving in Saudi Arabia since 2020. Since then, four drivers have died in accidents. Luckily none this year.

It was the first fatal incident involving a spectator in Saudi Arabia. A total of 78 fatal accidents have been counted at the Dakar Rally since 1979.

This article was written by Gerald Dirnbeck, co-author: Mario Galan

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