SURESNES, France – Hubert Auriol, a legend of the Dakar Rally who earned multiple wins in the event, died Sunday after a lengthy illness. He was 68 years old.
Known as “The African,” Auriol was born in 1952 in Ethopia . He gained legendary status by becoming the first competitor to win the Dakar Rally in two different classes.
He won the Dakar Rally in 1981 and ’83 in the motorcycle class. He could have won the 1987 edition on a motorcycle as well, but broke both his ankles in the penultimate round of the Rally and was forced to retire from the event.
Following his recovery he switched to the car class, where he continued to compete until his retirement in 1994. He added a third Dakar Rally victory in 1992, this time in the car class.
After completing his final Dakar Rally in 1994 with a runner-up finish, he took the helm of the Dakar Rally as race director beginning in 1995 and continued in that position until 2003.