JEDDAH (Reuters) - Qatar’s Nasser al-Attiyah won the Dakar Rally for the fourth time in the car category on Friday while British motorcycle rider Sam Sunderland took his second title.
Toyota factory driver al-Attiyah had led from the Jan. 1 start in Saudi Arabia and finished in Jeddah 27 minutes and 46 seconds ahead of France’s nine times world rally champion Sebastien Loeb.
Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rajhi was third with the Overdrive Toyota team, his first podium finish in the event.
Al-Attiyah won the Dakar when it was held in South America in 2011, 2015 and 2019 with Volkswagen, Mini and Toyota respectively.
He is now the joint-second most successful car driver in the history of the event, tied with Finland’s four times winner Ari Vatanen and behind France’s eight times winner Stephane Peterhansel who also won six times on a motorcycle.
GasGas rider Sunderland, who took his first title in South America in 2017, finished three minutes and 27 seconds ahead of Chilean rider Pablo Quintanilla on a Honda. Austrian Matthias Walkner was third for KTM.
The Dakar Rally began in 1978 as a race from Paris across the Sahara to the Senegalese capital but switched to South America in 2009 for security reasons.
One of motorsport’s most dangerous and gruelling events, the rally moved to Saudi Arabia in 2020 and is now in its 44th edition.
Sunderland is the only Briton to have won the event in any category.
Alexandre Giroud became the first Frenchman to win the quadbike category.