Lima - This year’s Dakar Rally has been won in a South African built Toyota Hilux, with Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar finishing the epic rally with a 46 minute advantage after taking no risks on the final stage to Lima.
While this was Al-Attiyah’s third Dakar win (the previous ones were with Mini in 2015 and Volkswagen in 2011), it was a magical first victory for the Proudly South African Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team.
Sainz's compatriot Nani Roma, in an X-Raid Mini, finished second overall with nine times rally world champion Sebastien Loeb, runner-up in the stage, completing the podium with a privately-entered Peugeot in the absence of a works entry.
The final stage, however, was won by last year’s champion, Spaniard Carlos Sainz, with the cautious Al-Attiyah coming in 12th, and some nine minutes slower.
Runner-up in 2018, the Qatari led after every stage bar the second day in this year's event when South African team-mate Giniel de Villiers was ahead. Although he had made a strong start to the rally, De Villiers' finished ninth overall, having lost more than four-and-a-half hours in Stage 3 after hitting a rock that was hidden in the sand.