France’s Stéphane Peterhansel wrapped up a record-breaking seventh Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge win, securing his place as the world-class rally’s most decorated champion.
After engaging in a titanic tussle for the lead with Russia’s Leonid Novitskiy, the current world champion and the Frenchman’s BMW X3 driving Team X-Raid colleague, Peterhansel piloted his Mini All4 Racing car home in an overall time of 20hours 33minutes 58seconds.
Having previously won the event twice in the bikes category, Peterhansel revealed his joy at finishing the 1,570-kilometre event and clinching a fourth consecutive Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge win - his fifth cars category title in total.
Close behind the X-Raid pair was experienced Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser in his Schlesser Original buggy. Peterhansel was full of praise for his fellow podium finishers.