The 46th edition of the Dakar, the 5th to be organized in Saudi Arabia, has finished after more than 4,700 kilometers of specials and a total distance of almost 8,000 kilometers, which tested the riders, drivers, co-pilots, and crews from the ancient city of Al-Ula to the shores of the Red Sea, passing through the oceans of dunes in the Empty Quarter.
The major winners of the 2024 edition have each, in their way, taken advantage of teams capable of building success based on their collective strength. Among the favorites in the Monster Energy Honda clan, American Ricky Brabec won a second title following his triumph in 2020 by resisting Ross Branch on his Hero, the first Indian bike to grace the Dakar podium, onto which Adrien Van Beveren climbed for the first time in his career, with third place, also riding a Honda.
There was an unexpected consecration for the hybrid Audi driven by Carlos Sainz in the car category. In his duel with Sébastien Loeb, who in the end finished 3rd, the Spaniard picked up his fourth title thanks partially to the back-up provided by his team-mates Stéphane Peterhansel and Mattias Ekström, as El Matador finished with a lead of 1 hour and 20 minutes over Belgian Guillaume de Mevius.
On the final stage, the battle in the Challenger class was turned on its head, to the detriment of Mitch Guthrie and in favor of Cristina Gutiérrez, who became the first female driver to win a Dakar title since Jutta Kleinschmidt in 2001.
In the SSV category, Xavier de Soultrait also won by the narrowest of margins, having failed to win in his career on a motorbike but taking victory in a Polaris driving for the Sébastien Loeb Racing team, which will be a small consolation for the man from Alsace.
Lastly, thanks to Martin Macík, the truck category witnessed the Czech Republic’s grand return to the summit of the rally 23 years after the country’s last triumph was earned by Karel Loprais, whose nephew Aleš Loprais finished as runner-up to Macík.
Parking location – Yanbu Al Bahr: 24.022701N 38.147976E(🚻,💦,🔌)