Carlos Sainz Clinches 2024 Dakar Victory for Audi in Grueling Off-Road Test

Dakar winner’s 2024 (

Spanish Rally Legend Secures Fourth Dakar Title as Audi Bags First Championship

In a dramatic conclusion to the 46th Dakar Rally, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz, piloting the Audi RS Q e-Tron, emerged triumphant in Stage 12, securing the overall victory in the challenging off-road event. Sainz’s fourth Dakar win, accompanied by Audi’s first title, marks a historic achievement for the 61-year-old Spanish rally legend.

Stage 12, a relatively short special at 175 km, started and finished in Yanbu. Sainz and Cruz’s strategic drive allowed them to comfortably claim the title, overcoming the hurdles of the Saudi dunes and off-road terrain. The victory was secured as Sebastien Loeb, a primary contender, fell out of contention in Stage 11.

The Audi RS Q e-Tron showcased its prowess throughout the rally, with Sainz settling into the overall lead after Stage 6 and maintaining the top spot until the final triumph in Stage 12. The victory run was characterized by consistency, as Sainz clinched the Dakar without winning a single stage, a first in his Dakar career.

Sebastien Loeb, after facing suspension damage in Stage 11, finished third overall, and Guillaume De Mevius/Xavier Panseri secured the second position. The Dakar win for Sainz comes with a fourth different manufacturer, following victories with Volkswagen, Peugeot, and Mini.

While celebrating this significant victory, uncertainties loom for Sainz’s future in Dakar competitions. Audi, despite introducing the electric RS Q e-Tron in 2022, is rumored to withdraw from further competition at the end of the year, shifting focus to its Formula 1 project. With limited seats available for 2025, Sainz might face challenges in defending his title in the next year’s event.

In the bikes category, Kevin Benavides claimed the final stage, while Ricky Brabec secured the overall triumph. In Quads, Manuel Andújar held onto the top position to win his second Dakar title. The Challenger class witnessed a gripping battle, with Cristina Gutiérrez emerging victorious after overcoming challenges, including Mitch Guthrie’s turbo problems.