Nasser Al-Attiyah won the 44th Dakar Rally, his fourth overall win.

In the short last stage, the 51-year-old racing driver from Qatar left nothing to be desired and confidently managed his lead in the Toyota.

The nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb (Prodrive) from France finished the Dakar in second place, 27:46 minutes behind.

The South African Henk Lategan won the final leg of the rally through the deserts and dunes of Saudi Arabia in a Toyota.

He relegated “Mister Dakar” Stephane Peterhansel (France) in the Audi to second place.

The German manufacturer ended the Dakar with its hybrid cars with four stage wins.

Sunderland wins motorcycle standings

This year, Audi had an extremely prominent line-up and was at the start with a new concept.

In addition to the now dethroned title defender Peterhansel (14 overall Dakar victories) and the Spaniard Carlos Sainz, the former DTM champion Mattias Ekström (Sweden) was also at the start in one of the RS Q e-tron.

Briton Sam Sunderland triumphed in the motorcycle classification, securing his second overall victory.

It was extremely close: Chilean Pablo Quintanilla was second, 3:27 minutes behind, Matthias Walkner from Austria was third - he was 6:47 minutes longer than Sunderland.

The final day was overshadowed by a fatal accident.

A supply vehicle belonging to the PH Sport team collided with a local truck.

The 20-year-old Frenchman Quentin Lavalee, who was driving the vehicle and working for the team as a mechanic, was killed.

The Dakar was hosted in Saudi Arabia for the third time.

While the dunes and deserts presented the participants with a great sporting challenge, the rally was overshadowed by an incident right at the start.

On December 30, an explosion occurred in the vehicle of Frenchman Philippe Boutron at the start and destination of Jeddah.

The driver suffered serious leg injuries and was temporarily in a coma, but has now woken up and is home.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian then spoke of a "possible terrorist attack", and there was also talk of canceling the Dakar.

The Dakar was relocated from Africa to South America in 2009 after the 2008 rally had to be canceled shortly before its scheduled start for safety reasons.

Driving in Saudi Arabia since 2020.

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