Peterhansel Claims 14th Dakar Rally Crown

Stephane Peterhansel celebrates after winning his 14th Dakar Rally on Friday. (Red Bull Photo)
Stephane Peterhansel celebrates after winning his 14th Dakar Rally on Friday. (Red Bull Photo)

YANBU, Abu Dhabi – Stephane Peterhansel wrapped up his record 14th Dakar Rally championship on Friday.

Peterhansel secured the victory Friday, winning the Dakar Rally by 13 minutes and 51 seconds over runner-up Nasser Al-Attiyah. He won one stage, the ninth, but used consistency throughout the rally to collect the winner’s trophy.

His overall rally completion time was 44 hours, 28 minutes and 11 seconds. It’s his eighth Dakar Rally victory in the car category.

“It was a really tough one this year and there is always more pressure when you are the leader for so long,” Peterhansel said. “We had everything to lose but we did a really precise race, almost perfect. It’s working really well inside the cockpit, it’s a good feeling to have Edouard (Boulanger) sat next to me. This was his first Dakar in a top car and he did a really excellent job.”

The final stage of the rally on Friday was won by Carlos Sainz Sr., who finished third overall behind Peterhansel and Al-Attiyah.

Argentina’s Kevin Benavides claimed the Dakar Rally title in the motorcycle class, narrowly beating American Ricky Brabec by four minutes and 56 seconds. Brabec won the final stage on Friday and chopped more than two minutes off Benavides’ lead, but it wasn’t enough.

Dmitry Sotnikov completed a dominant performance in the truck category on Friday to claim a Dakar Rally title. He won the class by nearly 40 minutes ahead of fellow Kamaz racer Anton Shibalov. Artin Macik won the final truck stage of the rally on Friday.

Finally, Francisco Lopez Contardo took top honors in the lightweight class, defeating American Austin Jones by more than 17 minutes. Kris Meeke won the final lightweight stage Friday afternoon.