Dakar stars take chequered flag as
rally-raid returns in Spain
Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah wins the Andalucía Rally.
Three-time Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah came out on top at the Andalucía Rally after four days of intense racing across perilous terrain in southern Spain. The vastly experienced Qatari driver finished ahead of Spain’s Carlos Sainz, while Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) took third place. Here is all you need to know:
- Al-Attiyah, behind the wheel of his Toyota Hilux, claimed podium finishes on all four stages – as well as a decisive win on day two.
- “We tested a lot of things that will help us at the next Dakar. Now we’re looking forward to the Dakar where our aim will be to win,” said Nasser Al-Attiyah.
- Second place went to Carlos Sainz (ESP) who finished the rally in his native Spain with a stage win on the 220-kilometre final day. Third placed Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) was followed home by 13-time Dakar champion Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA).
- American Mitch Guthrie Jr. – a member of the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team – won the final side-by-side (SxS) stage to take third overall in the category.
- Kevin Hansen (SWE) and Seth Quintero (USA) impressed in their first-ever rally-raid contest. Hansen took his OT3 to fourth overall, while 18-year-old Quintero claimed a podium finish on stage four.
- “Today we had a really, really good stage. We really tried to push in the beginning and catch some speed. We had one tricky moment with the navigation but overall we kept up a great rhythm,” said Kevin Hansen.
- In the bike race, the overall win was claimed by Argentina’s Kevin Benavides on his Honda, while Red Bull KTM Factory Team rider Toby Price took fourth place.
- 2018 Dakar winner Matthias Walkner (AUT) bagged sixth place, while rookie Daniel Sanders (AUS) took the stage win on the final day in Spain.
- “I thought I might be on my way to a Top 5 result and then at the finish line they told me I was number one. That was pretty awesome,” said Daniel Sanders.
- 2017 Dakar winner Sam Sunderland (GBR) and top female rider Laia Sanz (ESP) both retired during the opening days of the rally due to injury. However, both are confident of returning to full fitness in time for the 2021 Dakar Rally next January in Saudi Arabia.