Dakar: Al-Attiyah wins ahead of Loeb

Dakar: Al-Attiyah wins ahead of Loeb

Leaders since the third stage, Nasser Al-Attiyah and his co-pilot Mathieu Baumel won the Dakar this Sunday without trembling, ultimately 1h18 ahead of Sébastien Loeb. This is the Qatari driver’s fifth victory on the largest rally raid in the world.

It’s always difficult to stay focused until the end when you have a large lead, but Nasser Al-Attiyah managed it magnificently! Since the 6th of the 14 stages on the menu for this Dakar 2023, the Qatari driver has been more than an hour ahead in the general classification over all his rivals. Suffice it to say that he didn’t take the slightest risk during the second week, and didn’t make the slightest mistake either. And in the end, Nasser Al-Attiyah won his fifth Dakar (after 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2022) 1h18 ahead of his runner-up, Sébastien Loeb. At 52, the Toyota driver is still at the top of his game, and his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel is also to be congratulated. For him, this is a fourth victory, since he was not alongside the Qatari in 2011.

Loeb’s beautiful comeback

For Sébastien Loeb, the dream of finally winning the Dakar has yet to pass, but there is no doubt that the nine-time world rally champion will have great memories of his second week. While he was already two hours behind after the first three stages due to multiple punctures and mechanical problems, the Prodrive driver (49 years old next month) quickly said goodbye to his hopes of a final victory, but he took six stage victories in a row to move up from 26th place in the general classification to second to finish. He was also helped a lot, it must be said, by the retirements of Stéphane Peterhansel then Carlos Sainz, and the mechanical problems encountered by Mattias Ekstrom. After 2017 and 2022, this is the third time that he has finished second in the largest rally-raid in the world. Will he try his luck again in 2024? The podium is completed by the Brazilian Lucas Moraes (Overdrive), only 31 years old and who represents the future of the discipline. Also note the eighth final place of the second best French driver, Guerlain Chicherit, who also won the final stage.

Ranking of the 14th stage (Al-Hofuf – Damman, 136km special) – Sunday January 15, 2023
1- Guerlain Chicherit-Alex Winocq (FRA/GCK) en 1h09’24
2- Mattias Ekstrom-Emil Bergkvist (SUE/Audi) à 1’36
3- Henk Lategan-Brett Cummings (AFS/Toyota) à 1’44
4- Sébastien Loeb-Fabian Lurquin (FROM-BEL/Bahrain Raid Xtreme) at 2’48
5- Jakub Przygonski-Armand Monléon (POL-ESP/X-Raid Mini) at 3’08

Final general ranking
1- Nasser Al-Attiyah-Mathieu Baumel (QAT-FROM/Toyota) at 45h03’15
2- Sébastien Loeb-Fabian Lurquin (FROM-BEL/Bahrain Raid Xtreme) at 1h18
3- Lucas Moraes-Timo Gottschalk (BRA-ALL/Overdrive) à 1h36
4- Giniel De Villiers-Dennis Murphy (AFS/Toyota) at 2:29
5- Henk Lategan-Brett Cummings (AFS/Toyota) à 2h34

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