201 Nasser Al Attiyah / Mathieu Baumel (QAT / AND)
“When I crossed the finish line of this last stage, I immediately remembered what happened on the first stage. That’s a little bit of a disappointment. But to come back strong, and win the remaining four stages wasn’t easy, and we did a truly amazing job. Our car is really working very well and this is a testament for our teamwork, Mathieu and I. This is rallying.
“This was an amazing race, and as usual, we were really happy to compete and be part of the new World Rally-Raid Championship. We showed the speed and the fact that we are here. We still have the confidence to push for the next race.
“It is fantastic to have been part of so many good things, including having the title of World Champion and the other titles during the course of the past 31 desert challenges here. This race is really nice because everybody here is so good.
208 Stephane Peterhansel / Edouard Boulanger (FRA / FRA)
“This is really a special win, a victory with a really good car. As the driver, I made a few mistakes on some of the dunes. But that is rallying. I am delighted to be the first car winner with this new generation of cars.”
202 Sebastien Loeb / Fabian Lurquin (FRA / BEL)
“It was a good stage apart from losing 3 mins while changing two punctured tyres. Overall, the Hunter performed well, but I was not fast enough in the fight with Nasser. This rally is really very special. The place is beautiful. We are in the dunes like nowhere else. It’s very exciting to drive in these conditions. It’s very difficult and challenging in some places.
“You can crash very easily with some big drops in the dunes. It was important to drive here to take in this experience.”
301 Francisco Lopez Contardo / Paolo Cec (CHL / ITA)
“Today was a good stage and there was a lot of pressure on us for the overall standings. But my co-driver did a good job like always. It’s been like five days of some good training in the open desert, and we are ready for the next Dakar.
“This rally is very difficult every time. I think it is good for testing the car before Dakar. We are indeed very happy to come here as winners of the last Dakar. And now, we have managed to keep this momentum going by winning the first race of this new World Championship.
‘This win is just an affirmation that my car is very good, and we can be hopefully looking forward to the next Dakar.
“Yes, for me it is important to continue winning, not just here but in the next race as well. Our team has done a very good job with the car and the results are showing. Participating and winning is important for me. I have got the experience now, and I feel it is getting easier for me to win.”