Home / Sports / El Matador Gives Audi their First Title – Dakar Rally 2024

 

WRC legend Sebastien Loeb won five stages while defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah crashed out of the Dakar and veteran driver Carlos Sainz Sr soared to claim his fourth Dakar Rally win at 61.

The prologue saw Mattias Ekstrom take the lead, giving Team Audi Sport a very good start with former World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb finishing the prologue in the third place for his Bahrain Raid Xtreme team along with co-driver Fabian Lurquin. Stage one was taken by Guillame De Mevius, driving for Overdrive Racing, with Carlos Sainz Sr right behind him. The next day on stage two, Sainz moved to the overall lead while his teammate, Stephane Peterhansel, created history by taking his 50th Dakar stage win.

Yazeed Al-Rajhi overtook Sainz and Ekstrom to get on to the top step of the overall classification on stage three while Lucas Moraes of Toyota Gazoo Racing won the stage. Stage four would see Loeb’s first out of five stage wins at this year’s edition. Five-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah took his first stage win of this year’s edition as well the next day on stage five, driving for Prodrive.

Sebastien Loeb emerged on top from the chrono stage but it took Team Audi Sport’s Stephane Peterhansel out of contention along with defending champion Al-Attiyah and leader Al-Rajhi. With that incident, Carlos Sainz inherited the overall lead to which he held on until the finale.

Sebastien Loeb took stages six, seven, and nine with Sainz’s teammate, Ekstrom, disrupting Loeb’s streak with a win on stage eight. Guerlain Chicherit came through on the next two stages taking the win for Overdrive Racing and veteran Loeb capping off the final stage in style.

Carlos Sainz became the oldest Dakar Rally winner at 61 years of age and also the first to win the car category in an electric hybrid vehicle. The Spaniard’s four Dakar titles have been won with different manufacturers: Volkswagen in 2010, Peugeot in 2018, Mini in 2020, and now Audi.

Team Audi Sport had three RS Q e-tron cars in the “Ultimate” Prototype Cross-Country Car category with Mattias Ekstrom and Emil Bergkvist in car number 207, followed by Stephane Peterhansel and Edouard Boulanger in car number 202, and, lastly, the winner, Carlos Sainz Sr, and Lucas Cruz in car number 204.

 

About the author: Charan Karthik

 

Correspondent at Car India and Bike India.
Cars over anything!
IG: charankarthikk

 

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