The Dakar Rally 2022: Everything You Should Know
That’s all folks! On January 14th the 44th annual Dakar Rally wrapped up in Saudi Arabia with Nesser Al-Attiyah winning the cars division with co-driver Mattieu Baumel. This year marks Al-Attiyah’s fourth career win at the Dakar race with an astonishing first and fourth stage win to set the tone for the rest of the 2-week rally.
Driving a Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+, the duo never once relinquished their top seat as the contenders to beat the entire tournament.
Tournament statistics were released at the end of the rally showcasing the following top finishers from the race:
Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel - 38:33.03
Sebastien Loen and Fabian Lurquin - +27.46
Yazeed al Rajhi and Michael Orr - +1:01.13
Orlando Terranova and Daniel Oliveras CArreras - +1:27.23
Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy - +1.41.48
Sebastien Loen and Fabian Lurquin crossed the finish line approximately 27 minutes after the winners. Driving the latest Prodrive BRX Hunter, this astonishing vehicle runs on a special biofuel, reducing CO2 emissions by a whopping 80%.
Yazeed al Rajhi was the first Saudi driver to place on the podium in tournament history placing third with parker Michael Orr. The team drove the new Toyota Hilux built by Overdrive Racing
Third Time’s a Charm in Saudi Arabia
For the third consecutive year the rally raid was held in Saudi Arabia. Held from January 1st through the 14th, the rally began in Ha’il and finished in Jeddah. The Dakar, known for its unforgiving terrain was no exception this year with participants racing through the Red Sea coastline racked with heat through the cliffs in the region of Neom.
The route hosted sand, a lot of sand, which for rally cars meant plenty of opportunities to find themselves stuck. An added challenge of rain in the early days of the rally posed an even greater element of difficulty for all drivers.
Another common mistake on the road to Jeddah is navigation errors. One critical error from Loeb and Lurquin occurred during Stage 6 of the tournament.
When interviewed at the end of the day Loeb said,
“It was a complicated day. We got lost after 100 km, or something like this. We lost quite a lot of time and after that we tried to push to try to close the gap again with the guys in front. I think the rhythm was good, but we lost too much time there, so now the gap, given that we’ve lost fifteen minutes to Nasser again, is fifty-five minutes. It’s quite a lot, nearly one hour, I think.”
Unfortunately, for the duo the set back was not enough to surpass Al-Attiyah, but they weren’t alone. Audi’s driver Carlos Sainz was impacted the most severely losing nearly two hours of time due to a wrong turn and navigational issues moving forward.
The Final Push
In the end, what distinguished the first place winners from the rest of the competition was quite simple: they made no mistakes. Flawless navigation mixed with the high performance Toyota GR DKR Hilux racing without major issues resulted in the team’s ultimate tournament win.
Related: Formula 1's Big Finish: 2021 Title Comes Down to One Race
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