Carlos Sainz Sr. prolonged his document because the oldest winner of the Dakar Rally on the age of 61 on Friday along with his fourth victory within the automotive class and the primary for Audi.
Ferrari System One driver Carlos Sainz Jr. was there to embrace his beaming “Matador” father because the two-week motorsport marathon reached the end in Yanbu on Saudi Arabia’s Purple Coastline.
American Honda rider Ricky Brabec gained the motorcycling class for the second time whereas Spaniard Cristina Gutierrez triumphed within the light-weight Challenger class to grow to be solely the second girl to take a title after Germany’s Jutta Kleinschmidt in 2001.
Sainz Sr. completed 1 hour, 20 minutes, 25 seconds forward of Belgian debutant Guillaume de Mevius for Overdrive Toyota with France’s Sebastien Loeb, a nine-time world rally champion, third total.
Loeb had been Sainz Sr.’s greatest rival till mechanical issues Thursday, however he wrapped up with a fifth stage win in his Bahrain Raid Xtreme workforce’s Prodrive Hunter.
Audi, now anticipated to give attention to its System One entry in 2026, is the primary to win with a automotive powered by an electrical drive prepare. The Audi RS Q e-tron makes use of an power converter, that includes a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine, to cost the automotive’s high-voltage battery whereas driving.
“This automotive is so particular. It is so troublesome to handle. It has been so troublesome to make it work. … I am so completely satisfied for Audi,” stated Sainz Sr., who held the lead from Stage 6 after Saudi driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi crashed out. “To be right here with my age and to remain on the degree, it’s essential to work quite a bit earlier than. It isn’t coming similar to that. It exhibits that whenever you work laborious, usually it pays off.”
Sainz Sr., who withdrew from final 12 months’s occasion after fracturing his T5 and T6 vertebrae in a crash, has now gained the Dakar with 4 totally different producers, alongside claiming titles with Volkswagen in 2010, Peugeot in 2018 and Mini in 2020.
He and co-driver Lucas Cruz did it this time with out successful any particular person stage however with the help of teammates Stephane Peterhansel and Mattias Ekstrom, who helped with spare tires after going out of rivalry themselves.
Defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah failed to complete in his Prodrive Hunter.
The victory pulled Sainz Sr. degree with Finnish nice Ari Vatanen within the all-time rankings, with solely Al-Attiyah (5) and Peterhansel (eight) successful extra.
Brabec completed 10:53 away from Botswana’s Hero rider Ross Department with French rider Adrien van Beveren third.
“A bit bit totally different this one,” Brabec stated. “I really feel like this was extra earned. This was quite a bit harder. In 2020, we had an enormous hole from the get-go. Right here, I believe me and Ross spent three days with a few seconds distinction.”
Argentina’s Manuel Andujar gained the quad class, Czech driver Martin Macik took the truck title in his Iveco, and France’s Xavier de Soultrait was the SSV (side-by-side) champion.
The rally started in 1978 as a race from Paris throughout the Sahara to the Senegalese capital however switched to South America in 2009 for safety causes.
One of many biggest challenges in motorsport, with rivals battling towering desert dunes and inhospitable terrain, it moved to Saudi Arabia in 2020 and is now the flagship of the FIA world rally-raid championship.