CORDOBA, Argentina — Spanish driver Carlos Sainz won his second Dakar Rally title on Saturday, finishing 43 minutes ahead of second-placed Nasser Al-Attiyah of Toyota.
The Peugeot driver climbed on top of his car at the end of the rally to celebrate.
“I am very happy because this was a very difficult Dakar, I needed this victory,” Sainz said. His first title was in 2010 when he drove for Volkswagen in the second South American edition of the rally.
Sainz finished in 49 hours, 16 minutes, 18 seconds overall.
South African Giniel de Villiers won the 120-kilometer (74-mile) final stage in Cordoba and finished third overall.
Sainz was ninth on Saturday and had less pressure on him because rival Stephane Peterhansel crashed on Friday. The Frenchman, known as “Mr. Dakar” for his 13 victories in different categories of the rally, finished fourth overall.
Austrian rider Walkner won his first title in the motorcycle’s race.
“This is a dream come true, I am so happy. This took a lot from me, but here we are,” Walkner said.
The 2017 runner-up finished the last stage of the race on Saturday in eighth place, securing the title more than 16 minutes ahead of Argentina’s Kevin Benavides of Honda.
The win for the 31-year-old Walkner gives KTM its 17th straight Dakar title.
Benavides won the last stage of the race.
Defending champion Sam Sunderland of KTM was forced to abandon in the first stages of the race in Peru. The British rider crashed in desert while leading the race.
Frenchman Adrien van Beveren of Yamaha, who was also leading, was forced out three days ago.
The race covered 9,000 kilometers (5,600 miles) and began on Peruvian sand dunes. Afterward the rally took to the altitudes of Bolivia and finished in Argentina.