Al-Attiyah clinches Dakar title for Toyota

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Nasser Al-Attiyah has become a four-time Dakar Rally champion after sealing victory in the 2022 event in a factory Toyota Hilux.

Al-Attiyah driver started the 12th and final stage with a 33:19s margin over Bahrain Raid Xtreme’s Sebastien Loeb, meaning the latter needed something dramatic to occur in order to snatch first place in the Cars.

That drama never came, with Toyota Gazoo Racing’s lead driver prevailing by 27:46s overall after taking a conservative approach to the last day of Dakar 2022.

The title is the Japanese marque’s second at a Dakar after Al-Attiyah drove a Hilux to the win three years ago in Peru, following his triumphs with Mini in 2015 and Volkswagen in 2011.

It was another Toyota Gazoo driver in Henk Lategan who won the final stage of 2022, beating Team Audi Sport’s Stephane Peterhansel by 49 seconds.

Century Racing’s Brian Baragwanath took third on the day and Loeb fourth, at 2:20s off the pace of Lategan on that 164km special between Bisha and Jeddah.

Al-Attiyah would end up no higher than 19th on the day, 7:53s slower than Lategan, and still with a quick Christiaan Visser (Century Racing) to reach the finish.

More importantly, however, he ceded only 5:33s relative to Loeb.

UPDATE: Al-Attiyah 19th in final stage classification

Behind those two in the overall standings ended up Overdrive Toyota’s Yazeed Al Rajhi, from Bahrain Raid Xtreme’s Orlando Terranova and Toyota Gazoo’s Giniel De Villiers.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jakub Przygonski (X-Raid Mini JCW), Mathieu Serradori (SRT Racing), Sebastian Halpern (X-Raid Mini JCW), Mattias Ekstrom (Team Audi Sport), and Vladimir Vasilyev (VRT TEam).

Carlos Sainz (Team Audi Sport) ended up 12th, having dropped out of contention for overall honours after navigational dramas and damage to his RS Q e-tron earlier in the event.

Team-mate Peterhansel officially ended up more than 68 hours behind rally winner Al-Attiyah having copped a big penalty for failing to finish Stage 1B when he broke an axle on a rock.

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General classification: Cars Top 10

Pos Driver Co-driver Team Time/Gap
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Matthieu Baumel Toyota Gazoo Racing 38:33:03
2 Sebastien Loeb Fabian Lurquin Bahrain Raid Xtreme +0:27:46
3 Yazeed Al Rajhi Michael Orr Overdrive Toyota +1:01:13
4 Orlando Terranova Daniel Oliveras Carreras Bahrain Raid Xtreme +1:27:23
5 Giniel De Villiers Dennis Murphy Toyota Gazoo Racing +1:41:48
6 Jakub Przygonski Timo Gottschalk X-Raid Mini JCW Team +1:53:06
7 Mathieu Serradori Loic Minaudier SRT Racing +2:32:05
8 Sebastian Halpern Bernardo Graue X-Raid Mini JCW Team +2:38:26
9 Mattias Ekstrom Emil Bergkvist Team Audi Sport +2:42:11
10 Vladimir Vasilyev Oleg Uperenko VRT Team +3:02:21

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