It worked. Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz won the Dakar Rally in an electric Audi

It worked.  Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz won the Dakar Rally in an electric Audi

Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz in the Audi RS Q E-tron won the Dakar Rally in the car category. The car they were racing in was a car with an innovative drive system. American Ricky Brabec won on a motorcycle.

For the first time, a low-emission prototype with an electric drive, a high-voltage battery and an energy converter won the world’s most difficult desert rally. Spaniards Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz in the Audi RS Q E-tron secured the brand’s first victory in the Dakar Rally after covering approximately 7,900 kilometers with an advantage of 1 hour. 20 min. Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist, in the second Audi RS Q E-tron, also crossed the finish line.

– Audi has once again set a milestone in motorsport. Winning the world’s most challenging electrified desert rally embodies the slogan “Advancement through Technology” and points the way to our electric future,” said Gernot Döllner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG.

The Audi RS Q E-tron has an electric all-wheel drive. Energy is supplied by a high-voltage battery and an energy converter that runs on reFuel residual fuel.

Strong competition

In the Dakar Rally, Audi faced the Toyota and Ford brands, as well as experienced competitors from Prodrive, who turned out to be difficult rivals. The Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz crew secured a big advantage after leading uninterrupted from stage six. For the two Spaniards, who have already won in 2010, 2018 and 2020, this is their fourth success with different brands, including the second with the Volkswagen Group.

However, two-time world rally champion Sainz and his co-driver could not be sure of themselves until the very end. They had BRX’s Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin chasing them until their car was damaged on the penultimate day.

Episodes and marathons

Stages of over 400 kilometers a day, two marathon stages with limited or even no service, as well as 4,600 kilometers against the clock and a total of 7,883 kilometers distinguished the Dakar Rally 2024. Sharp scree and gravel roads, but also high chains of dunes in the “Empty Quarter” The Arabian Peninsula and often difficult navigation demanded absolutely everything from the teams. Carlos Sainz, who at the age of 61 looks back on a rally career spanning some four decades, recorded a total of eight days in the lead with Lucas Cruz over twelve stages.

The other two Audi crews also had good early results. Swedes Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist won the prologue on the grid and improved to second place behind Sainz/Cruz on the rest day after six stages. However, a rear axle failure on stage seven deprived them of their chances. Stéphane Peterhansel, record holder with 14 Dakar victories, was in sixth place shortly before the halfway mark after his 50th stage victory in the car and 83rd overall. A hydraulic fault pushed him and his French compatriot Edouard Boulanger to 22nd place on stage six.

Dakar Rally results:


  • 1. Carlos Sainz, Lucas Cruz (Spain/Audi RS Q) 48:15:18

  • 2. Guillaume de Mevius, Xavier Panseri (Belgium, France/Toyota Hilux) loss 1:20.25

  • 3. Sebastien Loeb, Fabian Lurquin (France/Prodrive Hunter) 1:25.12

  • 45. Magdalena Zając, Jacek Czachor (Poland/Toyota) 84:58.59

  • 47. Krzysztof Hołowczyc, Łukasz Kurzeja (Poland/Mini John Cooper) 88:56.45


  • 1. Ricky Brabec (USA/Honda Team) 51:30.08

  • 2. Ross Branch (Botswana/Hero 450) loss 10.53

  • 3. Adrien Van Beveren (France/Honda CRF450) 12.25

  • 24. Konrad Dąbrowski (Poland/KTM) 7:59.54

  • 56. Bartłomiej Tabin (Poland/Husqvarna) 21:48.03

Challenger. Final classification:

  • 1. Cristina Gutierrez, Pablo Moreno Huete (Spain/Taurus T3) 53:59.47

  • 2. Mitchell Guthrie, Kellon Walch (USA/Taurus) loss 35.46

  • 3. Rokas Baciuska, Oriol Vidal Montijano (Lithuania, Spain/Can-Am) 58.47

Quads. Final classification:

  • 1. Manuel Andujar (Argentina/Yamaha) 64:16.53

  • 2. Alexandre Giroud (France/Yamaha) loss 7.59

  • 3. Juraj Varga (Slovakia/Yamaha) 4:03.25

SSV class. Final classification:

  • 1. Xavier de Soultrait, Martin Bonnet (France/Polaris) 56:37.43

  • 2. Jerome de Sadeleer, Michael Metge (France/Team Galag) loss 2.25

  • 3. Yasir Seaidan, Adrien Metge (Saudi Arabia, France) 1:04.28

  • 27. Grzegorz Brochocki, Grzegorz Komar (Poland/Can-Am) 86:50.45

Trucks. Final classification:

  • 1. Martin Macik, Frantisek Tomasek, David Svanda (Czech Republic/Iveco) 54:34.48

  • 2. Ales Loprais, Jaroslav Valter, Jiri Stross (Czech Republic/Prague) loss 1:54.39

  • 3. Mitchel van den Brink, Moises Torrallardon, Jarno van de Pol (Netherlands, Spain/Iveco) 4:29.26

  • 4. Janus van Kasteren, Marcel Snijders, Dariusz Rodewald (Netherlands, Poland/Iveco) 5:22.04.

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