Many major motorsport events in this month of January!

Tuesday January 4, 2022 by Eliane Gilain

The 2021-2022 offseason is probably one of the shortest in motorsport history. As the 2021 Formula 1 and rally season ended in the first half of December, fans, but also many participants, were quickly able to return to competition, or prepare for it. Because at the international level, many motorsport activities around the world are planned this month. Some are even already in progress.

Here is an overview of the events not to be missed during this month …

Dakar Rally-Raid

The start of the 2022 season was given on January 1 by the teams participating in the famous Dakar Rally Raid, in Saudi Arabia. After several years on the African and then South American continent, it is now the turn of the deserts of the Middle East to host this event prized by some of the best pilots and sailors in the world. On the manufacturer side, Audi is challenging Toyota this year during the two weeks of competition, but the start of the event immediately turned to the advantage of the more experienced.

Despite a controversy which saw Nasser Al-Attiyah, big favorite with his Toyota Hilux, receive a penalty of 5,000 Euros (approximately $ 7,600 CDN) and fear disqualification for having arrived at the bivouac on Tuesday with the black box, which transmits all information relating to navigation and is imposed by the FIA, from his disconnected vehicle, the Qatari driver and his French navigator Matthieu Baumel dominate the event. Second, Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin are already relegated to almost thirty minutes with their Buggy BRX from the Prodrive team.

This Tuesday, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz collected a first stage victory in the Dakar for Audi, whose RS Q e-tron had a difficult second stage yesterday, with Sainz and Matthias Ekström who got lost while Stéphane Peterhansel took saw his chances of victory soar with the broken rear suspension of his RS Q … The Dakar continues until January 14.

The Gulf 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi

The Endurance season will be launched this weekend on the Yas Marina circuit, during a 12-hour event that will be spread over two days in the 6h + 6h format. This event organized by Creventic, the body which manages the 24H Series championship, will see several GT3 and GT4 competing against each other, but also prepare for the following weekend’s race in Dubai.

Quebecer Mikaël Grenier will be on the track with the Sun Energy 1 team, accompanied by Kenny Habul, owner of the team, Maro Engel and Jules Gounon, two Mercedes factory drivers. Of course, the quartet will be driving a Mercedes AMG GT3, this time prepared by the SPS-Automotive Performance team.

24 Hours of Dubai

Many drivers will converge this year again at the Dubai Autodrome for the now traditional Dubai 24 Hours. Grenier will not be the only driver on the track as Nick Wittmer and Louis-Philippe Montour will be joined by Jon Miller and Chandler Hull on one of the new BMW M4 GT3 of the Canadian team ST Racing, in the GT3 class of the 24H Series.

Samantha Tan, owner of ST Racing and herself a driver, will be on the team’s other BMW GT3, in the GT3-Pro / Am class with Bryson Morris, Anthony Lazzaro, Harry Gottsacker and Tyler Maxson. More details to come during the official presentation of this event on

Monte-Carlo Rally

From January 20 to 23, it will be the 90th edition of the Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo. As is tradition, this event kicks off the World Rally Championship (WRC) season, which this year includes 13 events across the world, but unfortunately none in North America.

Although Sébastien Ogier does not make a full season this year, the Frenchman will be looking for a 9th victory at the event. Ogier and 10 other competitors will drive the brand new WRC hybrids on this occasion. The field will be more traditional in the other categories, namely WRC2, WRC3 and the 2WD classes including the RGT within which we will find the Canadian crew Ian Crerar – Élise Racette on an Alpine A110.

Diriyah ePrice

Formula E will also kick off its season at the end of January, 28-29, as Saudi Arabia plays host to a second world event in less than a month. It will be a double program that awaits the pilots participating in season 8 of this series of 100% electric single-seaters.

It will also be the last season of Formula E Gen2, as the Generation 3 (Gen3) single-seaters will make their appearance in the following season, in 2022. These future cars will be more powerful and shorter, which promises even more races. more exciting. By then, the 2022 Formula E season will run for 8 months and will feature a round in Canada as Vancouver hosts the series for the first time in early July.

The 24 Hours of Daytona

In North America, only one major event captures the attention of pilots and road enthusiasts in January: the 24 Hours of daytona. Now the most popular race in the endurance world (after the 24 Hours of Le Mans), the famous Rolex 24 will see 60 teams competing in five classes; DPi, LMP2, LMP3, GTD Pro and GTD. All these beautiful people, divided into teams of 3 or 4 drivers, will start on Saturday, January 29, at Daytona International Speedway. A 4 hour round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series (for GT4 and TCR cars) and other support races complete the schedule.

Several Canadian drivers and teams will take part in the 24 Hours of Daytona again this year, including Kuno Wittmer who will make his debut in LMP3, or Zach Robichon, Roman de Angelis and Mikaël Grenier in the GTD class.

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