Nasser Al-Attiyah secures fifth Dakar Rally triumph
Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah claimed his fifth victory in the Dakar Rally car category on Sunday, while Argentine KTM rider Kevin Benavides secured his second win in the two-wheeled category, with both triumphs taking place in Saudi Arabia.
Driving for Toyota alongside his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel, Nasser Al-Attiyah, who is also the reigning champion, finished the 14th and last stage in Dammam on the Gulf coast with a remarkable lead of one hour and 20 minutes over French rally legend Sebastien Loeb, a nine-time world champion.
Stephane Peterhansel, also known as “Mr. Dakar,” has won the motorcycle category six times and is highly respected for his outstanding performance in the rally. Unfortunately, he had to drop out of this year’s competition following a crash that occurred while he was driving his electric hybrid Audi.
Al-Attiyah expressed his joy and relief after the grueling Dakar Rally, saying, “This was an incredibly challenging Dakar for everyone, but we were able to emerge victorious once again. It’s truly amazing to have defended our title, and I’m thrilled to have won it for the fifth time. Mathieu has also won it four times now, which is fantastic.”
Al-Attiyah also emphasized the importance of continuing to strive for more victories and achievements, saying, “Our goal now is to keep pushing and to secure more wins. We have successfully completed the Dakar Rally, and our focus is on defending our world championship title in the FIA Rally-Raid (W2RC) championship.”
Reflecting on his approach to the race, Al-Attiyah highlighted the importance of striking a balance between pushing oneself and accepting the outcome, saying, “We didn’t need to go all out and take unnecessary risks. It was important to stay grounded and accept the results as they came. Finishing the Dakar Rally and emerging as the champions means a lot to me.”
Sebastien Loeb, who had won a record six consecutive stages for the Bahrain Raid Xtreme team, was ultimately beaten in the final stage of the rally, held in Dammam, by his fellow Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit.
Here are the top 10 finishers in the car category of the Dakar Rally:
Pos Driver Co-driver Team Time/Gap 1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Mathieu Baumel Toyota Gazoo Racing 45:03:15 2 Sebastien Loeb Fabian Lurquin Bahrain Raid Xtreme +1:20:49 3 Lucas Moraes Timo Gottschalk Overdrive Racing +1:38:31 4 Giniel De Villiers Dennis Murphy Toyota Gazoo Racing +2:31:12 5 Henk Lategan Brett Cummings Toyota Gazoo Racing +2:36:23 6 Martin Prokop Viktor Chytka Orlen Benzina Team +3:40:44 7 Juan Cruz Yacopini Daniel Oliveras Carreras Overdrive Racing +4:27:09 8 Wei Han Ma Li Hanwei Motorsport Team +4:29:21 9 Sebastian Halpern Bernardo Graue X-Raid Mini JCW Team +4:42:38 10 Guerlain Chicherit Alex Winocq Gck Motorsport +5:22:10
Al-Attiyah fifth victory Dakar Al-Attiyah fifth victory Dakar
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