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Dakar Rally: a French mechanic dies in an accident

The statement said the accident, which involved an assistance vehicle and a local truck, killed 20-year-old Quentin Lavalée on the assistance liaison route.

The passenger, Belgian Maxime Frére, was injured and taken to the National Guard hospital in Jeddah, the statement added.

The French driver was chief mechanic on the 205 Turbo 16 in the Dakar Classic Race, the statement said.

In addition, two days before the start of the rally on December 30, a car exploded, seriously injuring its French driver, Philippe Boutron. The explosion hit an assistance vehicle belonging to the French team Sodicars shortly after leaving its Jeddah hotel for the route, prompting French prosecutors to open a terrorism investigation.

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The Dakar rally was held in Europe and Africa from 1979 to 2007, but was moved to South America and then the Middle East in 2020 after the 2008 event was canceled due to safety concerns.

There are traditionally five major categories of vehicles in the Dakar rally: cars, motorcycles, trucks, UTVs and quads.

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