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The Roller Coaster That Was The 2024 Dakar Rally: Results And Recap

The checkered flags have been waived and now in the history books, here are the 2024 Dakar Rally results. This year was a rollercoaster of a race, filled with the kind of drama and suspense we have come to love from the Dakar. Join Off Road Xtreme as we take a look at some of the stories and results in this 2024 Dakar Rally recap. In case you missed it, check out our mid-race recap here to get your bearings on the full adventure.

2024 Dakar Rally Results: An American Rider Earns A Tremendous Victory

Ricky Brabec took home his second Dakar title with the overall bike victory this year. Brabec’s race was one of consistency, clicking off strong stages all the way through the rally. That proved to be the only way to win on a bike in Dakar this year. Less than 13 minutes separated the top 3 riders, so any missed step on a stage could have easily changed the final order.

Ricky Brabec took home his second Dakar title with the overall bike victory this year. It was a tight race distinguished by only seconds at times.

Ross Branch was the rider waiting on a mistake from Brabec the entire rally. Just 10 minutes behind in the end, he was chasing down the Monster Energy Honda the whole race, but Brabec was almost flawless and refused to open the door. Brabec’s Honda teammate Adrien Van Beveren ended up third in the class.   

Brabec won in 2020 and claims it was an easy win compared to the challenges of 2024 Dakar. Overall, he was pleased with his performance. “It’s a nice way to start the year with a victory,” Brabec said at the finish. “It wasn’t easy as the course was really tough and so was the competition. Ross and my own team kept me on my toes, but not just me, I think we were keeping everyone on each other’s toes. It was definitely a fight to the end for everyone. I’m happy for all of us, we did an excellent job all of the two weeks. I think number 9 will be my lucky number from now on.”

The Best Moments in Bikes, Dakar 2024 Highlights  

Ricky Brabec never let up through the 2024 Dakar Rally.

Audi Finds Redemption At The 2024 Dakar Rally

2023 was not a great Dakar for the Audi team. Plagued by breakdowns, 14th was the best finisher they could deliver when the times were tallied. 2024 was a chance at redemption and Carlos Sainz delivered.

The race was full of ups and downs for many teams, including the Audi RS Q e-tron E2. Early in the stages, the team was showing strong finishes from multiple drivers. But as the cars finished the 48 chrono stage only one would be left in true contention for a win. From that point on, they had effective teamwork and driver strategizing the whole time to help propel Sainz forward in the standings.

Carlos Sainz surfing the dunes at the 2024 Dakar Rally.

That victory was far from unchallenged though, Sebastien Loeb was bouncing up and down in the standings. Delivering a dominant stage win only to fall down the order the next day, inconsistencies are the only way to describe Loeb’s rally. Despite that he had reined in Sainz to a gap of less than 14 minutes as the stages wound down, it was still anybody’s rally with a few days to go.

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work 

Stage 9 saw Loeb suffer a string of flats as the rally returned to rockier ground costing him a chance to make up some significant time on the day. Then on stage 10, he suffered a suspension failure and without the replacement parts on hand, he would have to sit by and watch hopes of a win drive off into the distance.

Sebastien Loeb’s 2024 Dakar Rally was a story of highs and lows.

Sainz also had trouble in the rocks though. But he had something Loeb did not, teammates in the race. In the later stages, Sainz was followed by the other two Audis as his personal support vehicles, sacrificing their stage times for a team win. At one point the pair acted as a complete pit crew, changing a flat and getting Sainz back underway more akin to NASCAR than Raid Rally.

In the end, the support and strategy of the Audi team won out and Sainz took the overall win. Guillaume De Mevius piloted his Overdrive Racing Hilux to the second step on the podium. The ProDrive Hunter of Loeb would have to settle for third at the 2024 Dakar Rally.  

The Roller Coaster That Was The 2024 Dakar Rally: Race Recap

Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz on their Audi RS Q e-tron E2 of the Team Audi Sport during Stage 10 of the Dakar 2024 on January 17, 2024 around Al Ula, Saudi Arabia // Florent Gooden / Red Bull Content Pool //

“It means a lot to me,” Sainz said about his victory. “Audi believed in this special car and in this special concept. We never gave up.

“To be here at my age and to stay at the level, you need to do a lot of work beforehand. It doesn’t just come like that,” added Sainz, who won previous editions of the Dakar in 2010, 2018 and 2020. Each victory was achieved with a different manufacturer.

The Best Moments in Ultimates, Dakar 2024 Highlights

Team Audi celebrating redemption at the 2024 Dakar Rally.

It’s Not Over Till It’s Over At The Dakar

When the rally started it was a tale of one team in the Challenger class (prototype UTVs), Team Energylandia. But a mid-race tech inspection would shake things up and see multiple Energylandia vehicles, including the race leader, disqualified for an illegal part. With the top driver wiped from the standings, a new leader emerged with a commanding lead.  

It was Mitch Guthrie with a 30-minute lead over second place Christina Gutierrez. And that’s the way it stayed going into the final day of racing. Mitch only gave up a small amount of time to Christina on each stage, driving carefully to ensure finishes. But the Dakar rally is never over till the end of the last stage.

Mitch Guthrie looked like the likely winner of the 2024 Dakar Rally until the final day.

Last-Minute Victory For Can-Am

In that final stage, Mitch would break a hose clamp and lose precious time trying to reattach a boost hose. After that, a transmission failure just miles from the finish would have Guthrie finish his race at the end of a tow line.

Going into the day knowing it would be a long shot to win, Gutierrez did the only thing she could and ran a clean stage. Overall, Christina would pilot her Can-Am to a victory with Mitch officially finishing 36 minutes behind in second place. Rokas Baciuska, Fransisco, and Austin Jones would finish the rally in that order giving Can-Am factory drivers 4 of the 5 top spots at the 2024 Dakar Rally.

The Best Moments in UTVs, Dakar 2024 Highlights

Christina Gutierrez clicked off consistently strong stages and it paid off in the end at the 2024 Dakar Rally

RZR Pro R Racks Up Another Major Victory

In the stock UTV class (T4/SSV), Polaris would see its second major win in just a few months. A RZR Pro R took the UTV overall in the 2023 Baja 1000, and now in the 2024 Dakar Rally. Xavier De Soultrait piloted his Polaris rig to a narrow victory over Jerome De Sadeleer of just 2 minutes.

Sara Price was the top Can-Am finisher in 4th overall. This battle of the brands in UTV has been raging on and will be something to watch in 2024. With two big wins in a row, I have to wonder if a Polaris driver could shake up the recent domination by Can-AM at King of the Hammers.  Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks to see what unfolds on the Johnson Valley lakebed. 

Polaris takes the win at the 2024 Dakar Rally

Until Next Year

Overall, the 2024 Dakar rally was just what we expected from the historic race. Hard-fought battles, last-minute hero stories, and the heartbreak that the punishing rally deals out across the desert. With only a few drivers achieving the goal of victory, most will already be looking to next year for a chance at redemption.

For a full list of winners and ranking for every class, you visit The Dakar Rally’s official page

This article was originally published by a www.offroadxtreme.com . Read the Original article here. .

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