Stage report

Dakar 2024, Stage 2: Peterhansel scores historic win, Sainz takes overall lead

Dakar Rally legend Stephane Peterhansel scored a historic 50th career win on Sunday’s second test, as Audi team-mate Carlos Sainz Sr moved into the overall lead in the cars’ category.

Peterhansel had suffered a bruising start to his 35th appearance in Dakar on Saturday, as a spate of punctures left him 30 minutes off the front. 

But with fewer stones on the 464km stage between Al Henakiyah and Al Duwadimi, the 14-time Dakar winner rose to the fore, scoring a narrow but significant 29-second stage win over Prodrive’s Sebastien Loeb.

The Frenchman was already ahead of the field by the first checkpoint at 41km and gradually extended his lead to over a minute over the chasing pack, then led by Overdrive Toyota driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi.

There was a surprise 167km into the stage when factory Toyota driver Seth Quintero jumped from third to claim the lead from Peterhansel, but the Audi ace was able to snatch the top spot back at the next checkpoint.

In the second half of the stage, Peterhansel faced severe pressure from nine-time World Rally champion Loeb, who was able to bring the gap down to just five seconds at the 342km mark.

But Peterhansel was able to build his advantage again in the final run to the finish to clinch his first stage victory at Dakar since the 2022 edition of the event - and only his second as an Audi driver.

Loeb didn’t have the pace to match Peterhansel in the final 100km of the stage, but he finished well over two minutes clear of Quintero’s Toyota in second, as his Prodrive team bounced back from a disappointing first day at Dakar.

#200 Nasser Racing Prodrive Hunter: Nasser Al-Attiyah, Mathieu Baumel

Photo by: A.S.O.

#200 Nasser Racing Prodrive Hunter: Nasser Al-Attiyah, Mathieu Baumel

Loeb’s team-mate Al-Attiyah started the day as Peterhansel’s closest challenger but dropped to as far back as 11th by the second timed marker, before gradually making his way up the field to finish a solid fourth.

The Qatari driver’s final margin to Peterhansel was 6m28s, having lost more than eight minutes between checkpoints two and three.

Home favourite Al-Rajhi finished fifth in his Overdrive-entered Toyota Hilux, beating his team-mate Guerlian Chicherit by just under two minutes.

Prologue winner Mattias Ekstrom was next up in his factory Audi, although the Swede lost more than 15 minutes to his more experienced team-mate Peterhansel.

Sainz was classified a further minute adrift in eighth place, while Toyota driver Lucas Moraes and MP-Sports’ Martin Prokop rounded out the top 10.

Saturday winner Guillaume de Mevius had a rather underwhelming day in Saudi Arabia as he was a provisional 19th at the end of the day’s running, conceding 26 minutes to the frontrunners.

De Mevius’ low-key run has elevated Sainz to the lead of the overall standings after the second of the 12 stages, the Spaniard sitting 1m51s clear of Al-Rajhi in the Overdrive Toyota.

Loeb has jumped from 19th to third in the standings following his stellar showing on Sunday, with 4m17s to make up to new leader Sainz.

Quintero leads the factory Toyota contingent in fourth place ahead of de Mevius and Ekstrom. 

Five-time winner Al-Attiyah still faces a 12-minute deficit to the front in seventh position, while Peterhansel’s stage victory was only good enough to elevate him to ninth in the standings, behind Moraes’ Toyota.

Chicherit currently holds the final spot inside the top 10.

Provisional classification after Stage 2 (Top 10):




Time / gap


Carlos Sainz




Yazeed Al-Rajhi




Sebastien Loeb




Seth Quintero




Guillaume de Mevius




Mattias Ekstrom




Nasser Al-Attiyah




Lucas Moraes




Stephane Peterhansel




Guerlian Chicherit



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