Dakar glory for those who defeated the desert at the world’s toughest rally

Dakar glory for those who defeated the desert at the world’s toughest rally

14.01.2022: After more than 4,000km of off-road racing over treacherous terrain, the chequered flag has flown at the 2022 Dakar Rally. The most epic adventure that motorsports has to offer has taken its convoy all over the sands of Saudi Arabia. As the dust finally s


After more than 4,000km of off-road racing over treacherous terrain, the chequered flag has flown at the 2022 Dakar Rally. The most epic adventure that motorsports has to offer has taken its convoy all over the sands of Saudi Arabia. As the dust finally settles, we find out who kept their cool while the desert sun rode high in the sky.


It was clear that Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) was on a mission from the very first kilometre. The Toyota Hilux T1+ driver and navigator Mathieu Baumel (FRA) took the lead on the first day and kept top spot until the end. The win gives Al-Attiyah his fourth Dakar title and his first in Saudi Arabia.



“It was very important for me to win because now the rally is in our region. We finished second at the first two Dakars here and now we’ve got the win.” – Nasser Al-Attiyah




Al-Attiyah was pushed all the way home by nine-time WRC winner Sébastien Loeb (FRA). Loeb now has three podium finishes at the Dakar and will surely be back to try again for the win in the future.



“Some trouble on the third day put us quite far behind, but since then we were pushing to catch up that time. We were able to recover some time, but not enough to win.” – Sébastien Loeb



Audi Sport battled back from a testing first day at their debut Dakar to post a total of four stage wins and bring all three Audi RS Q e-trons to the finish line. Carlos Sainz (ESP), Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) and Mattias Ekström (SWE) all kept their electrical drivetrain-powered Audis on the pace during week two of the rally.



“The first day was really bad for us, but after that we did much better. After the Rest Day we really showed some good speed and performance. We’ll be back next year to fight for the victory.” – Stéphane Peterhansel



Both Giniel De Villiers (ZAF) and Kuba Przygoński (POL) fought for the overall podium, but eventually had to settle for fifth and sixth respectively.



“We’re happy to get to the finish. This was a tough Dakar and very competitive throughout.” – Kuba Przygoński




Cyril Despres (FRA) put in another 4,000 further kilometres as part of his ambitious Gen-Z project which hopes to return to the next Dakar with a fully hydrogen-powered car. And there was a successful debut on four wheels for Laia Sanz (ESP) as she crossed the finish line of her 12th consecutive Dakar.



“The objective was to finish the rally and we’ve done that. We can take away a lot of positives.” – Laia Sanz

 



Chaleco Lopez (CHL) has made it back-to-back side-by-side victories, following up last year’s T4 triumph with an overall win in this year’s T3 category. Also on the podium is third placed Cristina Gutiérrez (ESP), giving the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team their first ever Top 3 result at the Dakar.



“If you told me a year and two months ago that this would happen I would have told you that it must be a dream.” – Cristina Gutiérrez



A huge slice of history was made by Seth Quintero (USA) of the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team at this Dakar. Despite an issue on Stage 2 taking him out of the running for the overall lead, the teenager won a total of 12 stages – setting a new record of stage wins at a single Dakar. The only stage that Quintero didn't win was won by his team-mate Guillaume de Mevius (BEL), meaning the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team won every T3 stage at this Dakar!



“Obviously it’s amazing, but I’m also a little bummed out because we’re not in the overall even though we won just about every single stage. It’s been quite the ride.” – Seth Quintero

       

           
Sam Sunderland (GBR) is once again champion of the Dakar bike race, recapturing the title he first won in 2017. The British biker took control of the two-wheel contest in the first week, but still had to battle hard to get back on top as the rally approached Jeddah.



Sunderland delivers GasGas their maiden Dakar victory as he becomes the first biker to win with different colours since the legendary Richard Sainct (FRA) did it two decades ago. Meanwhile, Sunderland’s GasGas team-mate Daniel Sanders (AUS) crashed out of the rally on the liaison section ahead of Stage 7.




“There was a lot of stress today because the times have been really close this year. I’m really grateful to everyone who helps and supports me, I hope this victory can repay some of that. This victory feels even better than the first.” – Sam Sunderland




Third place overall gets Matthias Walkner (AUT) his fourth podium finish at the Dakar. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider was in the hunt for the win right up until the chequered flag flew, ending the rally less than seven minutes behind Sunderland.



Walkner’s KTM Factory team-mates Kevin Benavides (ARG) and Toby Price (AUS) both arrived in Saudi Arabia with high expectations and the pair showed their speed with stage wins. However, a place on the final podium eluded both of them.



“It was wide open, full gas from the beginning. It’s always a good atmosphere and a good place to be. We’re excited to come back in 2023 already.” – Toby Price




There were personal goals met by both Štefan Svitko (SVK) and Camille Chapelière (FRA) who finished as runners-up in their respective classes, Svitko as a privateer entry and Chapelière in the Rally2 category.



“Things were stressful in the end because I had problems with the engine of my bike. I’m second in the Rally2 class and finishing in the Top 20 overall for the first time.” – Camille Chapelière



Throughout the rally, regional interest has been high in the performances of both Mohammed Balooshi (UAE) and Mohammed Jaffar (KWT). Both Middle Eastern riders dug deep to complete all 12 stages and bring their bikes across the finish line in Jeddah.



“I dedicate this entire Dakar to all the guys who stopped to help me fix my handlebars on Stage 5. Without all of that help I would not be here now at the finish line.” – Mohammed Balooshi




And a special mention to two-time MotoGP race winner Danilo Petrucci (ITA) who completed his first ever Dakar. ‘Petrux’ suffered a few crashes along the way but also set the fastest time on Stage 5 during an eventful debut at the world’s toughest rally.
 


It was another entirely dominant performance by Team Kamaz Master in the truck race. The Russians have now won all three editions of the rally hosted by Saudi Arabia. This time it was Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) making it two wins on the bounce as he held off the challenge from team-mate Eduard Nikolaev (RUS).



“The rivalry for victory was going on every day, until the last kilometre it was impossible to relax.” – Dmitry Sotnikov



Kamaz repeated their amazing feat of 2011 by recording a 1-2-3-4 result in the general classification. This time it was Anton Shibalov (RUS) who came third and Andrey Karginov (RUS) who placed fourth. The nearest non-Kamaz trucker to Sotnikov in the final rankings was over three hours away.
 



2022 Dakar Rally Final Standings



CAR RACE
1. N. AL-ATTIYAH (QAT) TOYOTA 38:33:03

2. S. LOEB (FRA) BRX +27:46

3. Y. AL RAJHI (SAU) TOYOTA +1:01:13

4. O. TERRANOVA (ARG) BRX +1:27:23

5. G. DE VILLIERS (ZAF) TOYOTA +1:41:48

6. K. PRZYGONSKI (POL) MINI +1:53:06
9. M. EKSTROM (SWE) AUDI +2:42:11
12. C. SAINZ (ESP) AUDI +3:39:21

19. C. DESPRES (FRA) PEUGEOT +4:58:22

23. L. SANZ (ESP) MINI +6:18:56

59. S. PETERHANSEL (FRA) AUDI +68:12:13
 
LIGHTWEIGHT PROTOTYPE (T3) RACE
1. F. LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL) CAN-AM 45:50:51
2. S. ERIKSSON (SWE) CAN-AM +51:28
3. C. GUTIERREZ (ESP) OT3 +4:34:43

4. S. NAVARRO (ESP) CAN-AM +5:11:35
5. P. LEDEDEV (RUS) CAN-AM +5:52:14

16. S. QUINTERO (USA) OT3 +14:38:21
 
BIKE RACE
1. S. SUNDERLAND (GBR) GAS GAS 38:47:30

2. P. QUINTANILLA (CHL) HONDA +03:27
3. M. WALKNER (AUT) KTM +06:47
4. A. VAN BEVEREN (FRA) YAMAHA +18:41
5. J. BARREDA (ESP) HONDA +25:42

10. T. PRICE (AUS) KTM +49:20
12. S. SVITKO (SVK) KTM +58:17

19. C. CHAPELIERE (FRA) KTM +2:39:30
37. M. BALOOSHI (UAE) HUSQVARNA +6:31:18

39. M. JAFFAR (KWT) KTM +7:57:36

90. D. PETRUCCI (ITA) KTM +20:42:04
101. K. BENAVIDES (ARG) KTM +23:52:59
 
TRUCK RACE
1. D. SOTNIKOV (RUS) KAMAZ 41:37:34
2. E. NIKOLAEV (RUS) KAMAZ +09:58
3. A. SHIBALOV (RUS) KAMAZ +1:11:11
4. A. KARGINOV (RUS) KAMAZ +1:49:55
5. J. VAN KASTEREN (NLD) IVECO +3:08:30

    


QUOTES



Nasser Al-Attiyah: “Me, Mathieu and the team all did a great job from beginning until the end. It was very important for me to win because now the rally is in our region. We finished second at the first two Dakars here and now we’ve got the win.”



Sébastien Loeb: “Some trouble on the third day put us quite far behind, but since then we were pushing to catch up that time. We were able to recover some time, but not enough to win. Second place at the Dakar is not too bad.”



Kuba Przygoński: “We’re happy to get to the finish. This was a tough Dakar and very competitive throughout.”



Mattias Ekström: “Finishing inside the Top 10 was our aim before the rally. We only had one really bad day when the roadbook wasn’t so friendly to us on the first stage. On our good days we were able to mix it with the big boys and that gets us excited for the future.”



Carlos Sainz: “Today we had a few issues so I’m happy to finish. I’m also extremely happy with the speed we showed in the second week .”



Laia Sanz: “The objective was to finish the rally and we’ve done that. We can take away a lot of positives. There were days when we really found a good rhythm on the stage.”



Stéphane Peterhansel: “We have some positives and negatives to take away from this Dakar. The first day was really bad for us, but after that we did much better. After the Rest Day we really showed some good speed and performance. We’ll be back next year to fight for the victory.”
 


Chaleco Lopez: “We have been very strong on every stage. We’ve been close to the front each day with no big problems for the car or for navigation. This is such a long race and it feels great to win it again.”



Cristina Gutiérrez: “If you told me a year and two months ago that this would happen I would have told you that it must be a dream.”



Seth Quintero: “Obviously it’s amazing, but I’m also a little bummed out because we’re not in the overall even though we won just about every single stage. It’s been quite the ride.”
 


Sam Sunderland: “There was a lot of stress today because the times have been really close this year. I’m really grateful to everyone who helps and supports me, I hope this victory can repay some of that. This victory feels even better than the first.”


Toby Price: “It was wide open, full gas from the beginning. It’s always a good atmosphere and a good place to be. We’re excited to come back in 2023 already.”



Camille Chapelière: “I’m super happy about what I’ve been able to do during this race. Things were stressful in the end because I had problems with the engine of my bike. I’m second in the Rally2 class and finishing in the Top 20 overall for the first time.”



Mohammed Balooshi: “I dedicate this entire Dakar to all the guys who stopped to help me fix my handlebars on Stage 5. Without all of that help I would not be here now at the finish line.”



Mohammed Jaffar: “There are no words to explain how I’m feeling. One month away from my family and friends. Last time I got injured so my kids were worried about something happening to me. I can’t believe now it is all done and I have my Dakar medal.”
 


Dmitry Sotnikov: “The rivalry for victory was going on every day, until the last kilometre it was impossible to relax. And even 500 meters before the finish we were totally focused because you need to get to the end.”
 


Eduard Nikolaev: “Kamaz team has gold, silver and bronze and this is the main thing. But there is only one champion, so we have something to strive for next year.”

    
       

- CHristine FIAL, photos Red Bull
       
    

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/dakar-glory-who-defeated-the-desert-world-thoughest-rally---233136.html

14.01.2022 / MaP

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