Nani Roma won the Dakar Rally as X-raid Mini teammate Stephane Peterhansel slowed on the final stage.
Roma led the majority of the event after a variety of dramas dropped main rivals Peterhansel, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Carlos Sainz back during the opening days.
Peterhansel recovered from nearly 40 minutes behind to catch Roma with three stages left, but X-raid was concerned about the risks its drivers were taking and ordered them to back off. Roma duly kept the lead on Thursday, although he lost it to Peterhansel again with a puncture on the penultimate day.
Peterhansel carried a 26-second advantage into the closing run from La Serena to Valparaiso, but drove steadily and soon fell behind in the overall classifications. He then parked 24 kilometers from the end so that he, Roma and Al-Attiyah could cross the line in formation to celebrate X-raid’s top-three sweep.
Roma’s first Dakar win in cars comes exactly 10 years after he won the motorcycle category on a KTM.
Giniel de Villiers was fastest on the final stage and finished fourth overall. While Al-Attiyah got back up to third following his opening week delays, Sainz crashed out four days from the finish.
Marc Coma was the motorcycle winner for the fourth time in his career.