World Rally-Raid Championship

2022 Andalucia Rally: Inaugural W2RC champions crowned in Spain

3 Mins read
Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Sébastien Loeb might have won the Andalucía Rally T1 class overall, but it was not enough to overtake Nasser Al-Attiyah for the category’s inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship. While he barely edged out Al-Attiyah for the race victory by a mere six seconds, Al-Attiyah claimed the rally’s fourth and final stage on Sunday to put the cherry atop his inaugural W2RC title.

Al-Attiyah fell behind Loeb after a challenging Stage #3 but rebounded to win the fourth by twenty-two seconds on Loeb. While his total time of 8:40:41 was not enough to surpass Loeb’s 8:40:35 for the overall, Al-Attiyah’s twenty-two-point advantage in the standings entering Andalucía only decreased by two in the end as he defeated the Frenchman 169 points to 149. The victory bookends a strong year for Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel that began with winning the Dakar Rally.

“The main objective here was to win the first-ever world championship,” said Al-Attiyah. “It was an amazing year of racing. Things were always very tight between ourselves and Seb.”

Francisco López Contardo was assured the T3 title after Cristina Gutiérrez‘s difficult run on Saturday such that even finishing behind her and outside the podium in Stage #4 did not make a dent in his points edge. Guillaume de Mevius won both the stage and his first international rally raid ahead of fellow Red Bull racer Seth Quintero; while he finished fourth in the driver’s points, co-driver François Cazalet claimed his respective championship ahead of Quintero’s partner Dennis Zenz.

“It’s been a really long year going all the way back to the Dakar,” López said. “We’ve needed to be at our best all year to stay on top. I have to say a big thanks to all of my team for making this result possible.”

The T4 championship fight consisted of three drivers separated by as many total points entering the final round. Marek Goczał assumed the lead entering the penultimate stage before being eliminated in a wreck, which left Rokas Baciuška to successfully fend off dark horse Austin Jones. Outside of the title picture, Pau Navarro claimed the stage and rally win to settle for fourth in points.

Sam Sunderland basically had the RallyGP title locked up barring disaster and a masterclass by Ricky Brabec, who was third and twenty-four points back (second-placed Pablo Quintanilla did not race due to a shoulder injury he sustained at the Rallye du Maroc). Unfortunately for Brabec, the Dakar winner proved too strong as he finished fifth overall to Brabec’s eighth. Adrien van Beveren scored his maiden overall victory as a Monster Energy Honda Rally Team member.

“It’s great to bring home the title for the team, I’m super grateful for all their hard work and happy I can give them the championship,” Sunderland commented. “The season started perfectly with the Dakar win and also the win in Abu Dhabi.”

While Amine Echiguer finished Andalucía in third in Rally3 and two hours behind winner Jeremy Miroir, his Morocco win—in which Miroir did not take part—helped ice the class title. Alexandre Giroud won all three of his starts in the Quads to claim that championship.

Kees Koolen (T5) and Mason Klein (Rally2) clinched their respective titles at the previous round in Morocco. While the T5 trucks did not race at Andalucía, Klein dominated Rally2 by winning all but the final leg to cap off a dominant season.

Stage #5 winners

T1200Nasser Al-AttiyahToyota Gazoo Racing1:17:15
T2214José GameiroMracing Portugal1:40:49
T3307Guillaume de MeviusRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team1:24:07
T4408Pau NavarroFN Speed Team1:26:04
RallyGP42Adrien van BeverenMonster Energy Honda Rally Team1:22:53
Rally2102Romain DumontierTeam Dumontier Racing1:30:15
Rally3151Jeremy MiroirDB Motors1:30:07
Quad173Jaraj VargaVarga Motorsport Team1:40:10
Open700Stéphane Peterhansel*X-Raid Yamaha Racing Rally Team1:25:15
* – Not competing for W2RC points

Overall winners

T1201Sébastien LoebBahrain Raid Xtreme8:40:35
T2214José GameiroMracing Portugal14:21:22
T3307Guillaume de MeviusRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team9:07:42
T4408Pau NavarroFN Speed Team9:33:50
RallyGP42Adrien van BeverenMonster Energy Honda Rally Team9:58:48
Rally2101Mason KleinBAS World KTM Racing Team10:32:26
Rally3151Jeremy MiroirDB Motors10:50:21
Quad170Alexandre GiroudDrag’on Rally Team12:09:57
Open700Stéphane PeterhanselX-Raid Yamaha Racing Rally Team9:22:45

W2RC driver’s champions

ClassDriver/RiderTeamTotal PointsRunner-UpMargin
T1Nasser Al-AttiyahToyota Gazoo Racing169Sébastien Loeb20
T3Francisco López ContardoRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team199Seth Quintero30
T4Rokas BaciuškaSouth Racing-Can Am176Marek Goczał6
T5Kees KoolenProject 2030186Martin Macík Jr.26
RallyGPSam SunderlandGasGas Factory Racing85Ricky Brabec26
Rally2Mason KleinBAS World KTM Racing Team113Romain Dumontier37
Rally3Amine EchiguerAmine Echiguer41Jeremy Miroir16
QuadAlexandre GiroudDrag’on Rally Team88Jaraj Varga28
FIM WomenMirjam PolHT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing63Sandra Gómez Cantero8
FIM Rally2 JuniorMason KleinBAS World KTM Racing Team113Konrad Dąbrowski37
FIM SeniorMario PatraoCrédito Agrícola88Franco Picco28

W2RC co-driver’s champions

ClassCo-DriverDriverTeamTotal PointsRunner-Up (Driver)Margin
T1Mathieu BaumelNasser Al-AttiyahToyota Gazoo Racing169Fabian Lurquin (Sébastien Loeb)20
T3François CazaletGuillaume de MeviusRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team175Dennis Zenz (Seth Quintero)6
T4Łukasz ŁaskawiecMarek GoczałCobant-Energylandia Rally Rally Team170Gustavo Gugelmin (Austin Jones)3
T5Wouter de GraaffKees KolenProject 2030186Frantisek Tomasek (Martin Macík Jr.)26

W2RC manufacturer’s champions

ClassManufacturerTotal PointsRunner-UpMargin
FIAToyota Gazoo Racing163Bahrain Raid Xtreme28
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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