Volkswagen has claimed overall victory in the Dakar Rally for the third consecutive year, taking top three podium spots.
Nasser Al-Attiyah from Qatar, with his German co-driver Timo Gottschalk, finished the final stage with the second quickest time and an overall winning margin of 49m 41s.
33 year old Al-Attiyah is the first Arab in the desert classic’s history to be presented with the Dakar winners’ trophy. The back-to-back hat-trick of victories means that Volkswagen is still unbeaten since the famous event moved to South America.
Volkswagen competed with four diesel-powered Race Touareg 3s, that all completedthe gruelling 9,600 kilometre course through Argentina and Chile, winning 12 out of the 13 stages between them and remaining at the top of the timesheets throughout.
Al-Attiyah and Gottscahlk were joined on the podium in Buenos Aries with the 2009 winners Giniel de Villers and Dirk von Zitzewitz claiming second overall, and last year’s winners Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz finishing third.
The fourth Volkswagen with Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford completed the rally in sixth position.
With seven stage victories, including the 13th and final stage of the Rally, Carlos Sainz broke the record for the highest number of stage wins on the Dakar. This victory took his tally to 24, overtaking the previous record-holder and Volkswagen’s closest rival on this year’s Dakar, Stéphane Peterhansel.
Final result after leg 13, Córdoba (RA)–Buenos Aires (RA); 181/826 km SS 13/total:
Pos Team Vehicle Leg 13 Total time
1 Al-Attiyah / Gottschalk (Q/D) Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 1h 16m 46s (2) 45h 16m 16s
2 de Villiers / von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 1h 18m 06s (4) + 49m 41s
3 Sainz / Cruz (E/E) Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 1h 16m 08s (1) + 1h 20m 38s
4 Peterhansel / Cottret (F/F) BMW X3 CC 1h 19m 05s (6) + 1h 43m 48s
5 Holowczyc / Fortin (PL/B) BMW X3 CC 1h 17m 33s (3) + 4h 11m 21s
6 Miller / Pitchford (USA/ZA) Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 1h 18m 10s (5) + 4h 54m 42s
7 dos Santos / Fiuza (P/P) BMW X3 CC 1h 27m 16s (11) + 6h 50m 07s
8 Lavieille / Polato (F/F) Nissan Proto 1h 25m 07s (10) + 7h 57m 18s
9 Spinelli / Haddad (BR/BR) Mitsubishi Racing Lancer 1h 20m 06s (7) + 8h 23m 37s
10 Kahle / Schünemann (D/D) Buggy SMG 1h 28m 02s (12) + 15h 11m 56s