Although he only managed to win this Dakar one stage, Peterhansel has been in the lead in the car classification since the second stage. After the rest day knew Monsieur Dakar to increase his margin, allowing him to start the final stage with a comfortable lead of over fifteen minutes on Friday.
Sainz takes the final stage, Peterhansel the overall victory
In the 200-kilometer special stage towards the finish in Jeddah, Peterhansel’s first place was never in danger anymore. He still managed to get involved in the battle for the day’s victory, but that ultimately went to MINI stable mate Carlos Sainz, who took the overall victory last year. Nasser Al-Attiyah steered his Toyota over the finish line second, but 40 seconds from the Qatari, Peterhansel finished third to secure the victory.
In the final classification, after more than 44 hours of tearing through the desert, Peterhansel is 14 minutes and 51 seconds ahead of Al-Attiyah, who therefore has to settle for second place for the second year in a row. The three-time Dakar winner won no less than five of the twelve stages this year, but lost too much time due to a large number of flat tires. Defending champion Carlos Sainz ends the rally more than an hour behind in third place.
Jakub Przygonski finished the car rally in fourth place. Nani Roma scores a nice fifth place with the BRX Hunter, the brand new car from Prodrive that made its debut in the Dakar Rally. Tim and Tom Coronel finish the rally with ‘The Beast’ in a neat 25th place in the standings.
First Dakar winner on three continents
Peterhansel, 55, took part in the Dakar Rally for the first time in 1988 and has since skipped only the 1994 edition. In 1991, exactly 30 years ago, he scored his first overall victory on the bike. After winning the rally six times on two wheels, Peterhansel switched to the cars. In 2004 he won with Mitsubishi for the first time in the cars and after Hubert Auriol, who passed away last Sunday, became only the second driver to win the rally in both the motorcycles and the cars.
After three victories with Mitsubishi, Peterhansel made the switch to the German X-raid in 2010, with which he also won the rally in South America for the first time in 2012 with a MINI. A year later he repeated that feat, and then won again in 2016 and 2017 with a Peugeot. After the departure of Peugeot, Peterhansel returned to X-raid, with which he took his fourteenth overall victory in Saudi Arabia this year. This makes Peterhansel the first Dakar participant to win the rally on three different continents.