This year’s Dakar Rally has been plagued with rough weather and organization issues, but that didn’t decrease fans’ excitement for the finale. As the final stage in each category came to an end, the results were as eagerly anticipated as ever, and they didn’t disappoint!
In the Bike category, Sam Sunderland took home the United Kingdom’s first ever championship title in the Dakar Rally. Sunderland, 27, originally hails from Poole in Dorset county, but is based in Dubai. After winning, he expressed hopes that his victory might help raise British interest in the event, as so far relatively few British drivers have participated in Dakar. Also of note in the Bike category was 97th place driver Joey Evans of South Africa, a former paraplegic, whose endurance throughout the grueling 12 stages and irrepressible good humor impressed fans.
Yamaha’s Sergey Karyakin won in the Quad category, surprising no one as he had dominated the event from start to finish. The experienced Russian driver finished over an hour ahead of his closest follower in the last stage of the Rally. Yamaha actually took the first six places in this category, their winning streak only interrupted by Honda at the seventh place mark.
Stephane Peterhansel of France came in second in the final stage of the Car category, but secured a definitive first overall. This brings his total Dakar Rally wins to an astonishing 13, with six Bike category titles and now seven titles in the Car category. His fellow Peugeot driver Sebastien Loeb won the final race and took second overall. Peugeot also sponsored the third place driver, Cyril Despres.
Leandro Torres of Polaris Brasil claimed the title in the UTV category. Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Torres has only participated in the Dakar Rally once before, in 2016. He came in 54th that time, so it’s safe to say he’s been practicing! His time was nearly five hours ahead of the runner-up, first-time participant Wang Fujiang.
The final category, Trucks, gave the title to Russian driver Eduard Nikolaev, with Kamaz. This was his third Truck category win, with the previous two in 2011 and 2013.
For the full results of the 2017 Dakar Rally, visit the event’s website, Dakar.com.