Kamil Wiśniewski will not be able to run the 2024 Dakar Rally due to a knee injury he sustained at the 2023 race, but he hopes to be back in time to run the rest of the World Rally-Raid Championship.
“Normally, at this time, I would be putting the finishing touches before the Dakar Rally. Unfortunately, due to a knee injury I suffered in the previous edition, I reluctantly had to withdraw from the rally in January. The rehabilitation team agreed that the injury would not allow me to complete the Dakar,” explained Wiśniewski. “It’s a difficult decision, but I am focusing on therapy to compete in the remaining World Cup rallies in 2024, which will take place in the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, and Morocco.”
2023 marked Wiśniewski’s sixth Dakar. Competing in the Quad category, he was running seventh in class when he rolled in Stage #6 and broke two fingers. He also aggravated an ankle injury he suffered while training for the race, which forced him to get surgery in February. His best daily finish was sixth in Stage #3.
Due to the injuries, he did not run any other W2RC races in 2023. He finished third in the inaugural championship the previous year with a pair of podiums among points-eligible riders.
With Dakar out of the picture, his next race will be the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge from 25 February to 2 March. Other rounds on the calendar include the BP Ultimate Rally-Raid Transibérico on 2–7 April, the Desafío Ruta 40 on 2–8 June, and the Rallye du Maroc on 5–11 October.
While he was not on the 2024 Dakar entry list in the first place because of the injury, his absence makes the miniscule size of the Quad class all the more apparent. Only ten riders are taking part as a result of more restrictive eligibility rules and a lack of funding, which also prompted those like 2023 W2RC runner-up Rodolfo Guillioli and Dakar podium finisher Pablo Copetti to sit out 2024.