Nasser Al Attiyah wins Dakar Rally Driver's Title for fifth time in history.
20 January 2023, 12:00 AM
28 February 2023, 12:00 AM
Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah has won the Dakar Rally for a fifth time.
The 52-year-old Toyota driver defended his title in Saudi Arabia, finishing an hour ahead of France's Sebastien Loeb.
Loeb, 48, a nine-time world rally champion, was runner-up for the second year in a row but made history with a record six consecutive stage wins.
Brazil's Lucas Moraes was the third driver home, while Argentine rider Kevin Benavides, 34, won his second title in the motorbike event.
Winning his fifth Dakar, Al-Attiyah stormed to victory this year fending off a late charge from Sebastian Loeb, who won six consecutive stages (a record). The Qatari driver now becomes the second most successful driver at Dakar behind Stephane Peterhansel who has eight titles to his name.
The 2023 Dakar Rally started with Audi Sport's domination, winning both the Prologue and Stage 1. However while pace was on team Audi's side, durability and reliability of their Audi RS Q e-tron soon became a recurring issue. Only Mattias Ekstrom from Audi camp finished the rally, in 13th place, with Carlos Sainz retiring in the 9th stage and Peterhansel retiring in the 6th.
With his biggest challenger - Audi facing reliability issues, the Toyota Gazoo Racing driver won three stages with stable finishes in the rest. Loeb's comeback while historic could only help him finish 2nd in the 2023 Dakar Rally.
2023 Dakar became quite the fight to the finish for Kevin Benavides and Toby Price, both of Red Bull KTM racing. Price had a lead of 12 seconds going to the last stage. But missing two waypoints cost Price, as Benavides finished ahead of him by 43 seconds to win his second Dakar.
Nasser Al Attiyah Dakar Rally