Dakar Rally 2023: Recap And Results Display Pain And Glory

After more than 5,000 miles, the 45th Dakar Rally has come to a close. This year’s event presented a perfect storm of challenges, endless sand, torrential rain and flooding, tire-shredding rocks, and mud. The competition was packed with action, dramatic turnarounds, pain, and glory throughout the 14 stages of racing. Join Offroad Xtreme as we take a look at the Dakar Rally 2023 results and the action from the Saudi Arabian desert.

If you have been following along with our Dakar coverage you know we get excited about the rally and even more pumped to have Americans competing at a high level for victory. We are proud to report our USA boys did bring home some hardware!

Can-Am Does It Again!

The big news is that Can-Am has cemented itself in Dakar Rally’s history books with a truckload of accolades. With victories in both the T3 and T4 categories, they have now claimed their sixth straight Dakar Rally win. 

Austin Jones and Seth Quintero, with the Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team, secured first and second overall in the T3 Lightweight Prototype class in their Can-Am Maverick X3 vehicles. In the T4 class, Eryk Goczal, with the Energylandia South Racing Can-Am team, won in their Can-Am Maverick X3 vehicle, becoming the youngest Dakar Rally winner at 18 years old, followed by a full podium of the Red Bull Can-Am Factory team for a T4 podium sweep.

This accomplishment is a major statement at the world’s hardest off-road race, with 15 days of racing and covering 8,500 kilometers of brutal Saudi Arabian terrain.

“Seeing our teams go out and already break boundaries, set new records, and reach new levels of success is truly inspiring for all of us,” said Anne-Marie LaBerge, Chief Marketing Officer at BRP. “We congratulate the teams and are eager to celebrate many more important milestones with them.”

“The team performed exceptionally, taking home 25 out of the 26 cars. This Dakar was particularly challenging, and the fact that we achieved success in both T3 and T4 categories is a testament to our strength. We are grateful to all who contributed to our success and are now looking forward to a much-needed rest,” said Scott Abraham, Team Principal of South Racing and Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team.

Dakar Rally 2023 Results For T3 Lightweight Prototype: Red Bull Junior Team USA Dominates!

T3 was dominated by the newly formed Cam-Am-powered Red Bull team. Four of the top five places were claimed by drivers from the new Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team. The powerhouse crew took a total of twelve stage-wins throughout the event.

Austin Jones

Adding his second Dakar Rally class championship to his resume this year, Jones Finished almost an hour ahead of the next driver. With a T4 victory in ’22 and a T3 class win in ’23, and a 2nd place finish in ’21, Jones is proving to have what it takes regardless of class. At the young age of 26, he can now claim the record as the youngest back-to-back winner in Dakar history. He is also the only driver to win Dakar titles in both the T3 and T4 divisions. 

“A big shout out to all the team, all the work that goes on behind the scenes. We couldn’t do it without the help of those guys. My navigator Gustavo did a great job. We’ve done it, two years in a row!” AJ Jones

Seth Quintero

With two stage-wins and ten top five stage finishes Seth had a great rally finishing second overall. Stage 4 was the undoing of his championship hopes though, losing a wheel at the beginning of the stage cost him over an hour to the stage-winner. That, coupled with running out of fuel, showed how even the slightest hiccups over the two weeks of racing can cost even the strongest competitor. Either one of those lost hours would have been the difference between first and second place.

“We can look back at that one stage where we ran out of fuel to see what cost us the win, but I’m happy to be on the podium. To finally drive through every stage of the Dakar feels amazing. It’s only 350 days until the next one so we’re going get working on that.”Seth Quintero

Mitch Guthrie Jr.

Starting this year’s Dakar strong, Mitch was a quick favorite. Leading the class going into Stage 5, he was the man to beat. Unfortunately, the day did not go his way. Mechanical failure put him 20 hours behind the day’s leader, ending his hope for an overall win. Despite the bad day, Mitch totaled up five stage-wins on the race proving he is a contender for next year’s championship.

“This has been a crazy ride, so many ups and downs the whole way. In the end, we can look back on five stage wins. This is the first Dakar that I’ve made it to the finish line so that feels good. On this last stage, the Dakar showed again that anything can happen on every kilometer.”Mitch Guthrie Jr.

Dakar Rally 2023 Results For T4 Modified Production: Can-Am And Method Race Wheels Sweep 

The dust has settled on the 2023 edition of the Dakar Rally the Combo of Can-Am and Method Race Wheels dominated the T4 UTV category in the Arabian desert. With a stacked field of competitors, almost 8,500 kilometers of racing, and brutal weather conditions, this year’s Dakar was one for the record books. Overcoming these formidable challenges, the Can-Am competitors took the top three positions for an all Can-Am T4 podium sweep.

In all, the T4 production class was ridiculously close racing as a production class should be. The class saw five lead-changes throughout the race. In the end, the top three were separated by less than 20 minutes after 50 hours of racing.

Eryk Goczal

The young 18-year-old rookie, Eryk Goczal, was the one to take the top honors this year. He drove a Can-Am XRS Turbo to three stage wins for the Energylandia South Racing Can-Am team. As a rookie to Dakar and racing in general, you have to wonder what the future will hold for this ultra-talented driver.

“This is my first Dakar. It’s one of my dreams to be here, I couldn’t be more thankful for my family and team, they made this all possible. We took a big risk to go for the overall lead a few days ago, I gave it everything I had, and it paid off.” – Eryk Goczal

Rokas Baciuška came in second, and Marek Goczal in third, for a Red Bull Can-Am Factory team T4 podium sweep.

Rokas Baciuska

Finishing second, we see another member of the newly formed Red Bull Can-Am Factory Racing Team. Taking the prologue and three additional stage wins Bacisuska was in the overall lead for several days until the final stage. That final day of racing was the deciding factor in the end, with Rokas Baciuska finishing 23 minutes off the pace of the leader for the stage and giving up his lead.

Michal Goczal

Michal Goczal, a Dakar veteran and father, had a very rare opportunity this year in Dakar, to share a podium with his son. That has to make this year’s third-place finish even more memorable. The Goczal Family almost claimed the entire podium with brother Michal finishing in fourth.

Dakar Rally 2023 Results For Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah Claims His Fifth Dakar Title

While the close battles in the UTVs raged on, the cars were a different story. While no Dakar is easy, this year saw the widest margin of victory in the last twenty years of the event. Brutal conditions, mechanical issues, and crashes plagued the field. One driver seemed to avoid almost all of it entirely. Chalk it up to the experience of four Dakar wins, luck, or a combination of both but Nasser Al-Attiyah literally drove away with this year’s race.

Troubles For Audi

This year, all eyes were on the Audi E-Tron team who started strong over the first couple of stages.  Despite some day three troubles, the Audis were all still in the race when they started to fall one by one. Ekstrom’s troubles started with electrical issues on stage five adding hours to his time.  

Peterhansel made a catastrophic mistake on Stage 6, taking a 50-foot dune with too much speed, landing his car flat. This impact rendered him unconscious and put his co-driver in the hospital.  His teammate Carlos Sainz Sr. also fell prey to the same dune. His Audi dug in on impact destroying the front left suspension. Despite on-site repair, the damage was severe and Sainz later retired after a few more stages and another crash on Stage 9.

The remaining Audi of Mattias Ekstrom did go on to finish the Rally. But the 14th place was not what the team had hoped for.  So despite the power advantage granted to the E-Trons for technology advancement, 2023 would not be the year for them.

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Nasser piloted his Toyota Hilux like an unstoppable force across the Arabian desert this year. No Dakar is without challenges, but Nasser was able to set his own pace after trouble for the top competitors gave him an early lead on time. That pace kept him in P1 finishing an hour and 20 mins over second place. Overall, it was a clinic in running a super consistent race across almost all the stages. 

Sebastien Loeb

A rough start would be an understatement in describing Loeb’s 2023 Dakar. Stage 2 delivered one more flat than he had spares and put him in a hole early. The next day his luck didn’t change and his Hunter BRX suffered a damaged rear suspension adding to his time. If those first two setbacks weren’t enough, Sebastien rolled his car on the fifth stage.

Dakar Rally 2023 Results

Remarkably despite the rollover, he went on to finish that stage in second place. With nearly a two-hour gap to the leader, it was time to go big or go home as the second half of the rally started. Go big, is exactly what Loeb chose to do clicking off a record-setting six consecutive stage wins. This rocketed him into second overall, giving him a silver-place finish for 2023.

Lucas Moraes

Third-place finisher Lucas Moraes made a statement in his Dakar debut. The rookie clicked off solid stage finishes over and over through the race.  His run never included a top-three stage finish, but the sum of consistent top-ten finishes was enough to get him on the podium when the times were all tallied.

Dakar Rally 2023 Results For Trucks: Van Kasteren Blasts Into The History Books

One of the most recognizable vehicles of the Dakar rally are the trucks. These massive rigs tearing across the open desert are a sight to see. This year was no different, except for the addition of seeing them slam through water crossings and flooded plains.

In the Truck class, the Boss Machinery Team De Rooy Iveco piloted by Janus Van Kasteren took the top spot this year. Martin Macik stood second on the podium. The third Iveco Powerstar to finish was in the hands of Martin Van Den Brink.

This Year was one for the record books. It included all the adventure and excitement the Dakar rally is known for, but this is just the start of what promises to be a great year of racing. For full results and timing, visit from all the classes visit the Official website of the Dakar Rally.

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About the author

Dustin Singleton

Dustin is an internationally published photographer and the founder of IALS Photography. Managing a successful mobile electronics shop led him to become completely entrenched in the tuner scene.
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