Stephane Peterhansel has taken a dominant 12th career victory in the Dakar Rally by easing through the 13th and final stage which was won by nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb.

Peterhansel held on to his comfortable lead over nearest rival and defending Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah and despite losing a handful of minutes he claimed the chequered flag by over half an hour, but may have to wait for the victory to be confirmed after X-raid's appeal is carried out.

Loeb, who had been leading the Dakar Rally at the halfway stage until he rolled his Peugeot and lost over an hour, ended the ultra-endurance event on a high by taking the final stage win, his fourth stage victory at his debut Dakar. But it wasn't enough to move up in the overall standings and was forced to settle for ninth, 2hr 22m 9s off of team-mate Peterhansel.

Toyota's Giniel de Villiers held on to the final rostrum spot in third place, over an hour behind Peterhansel, despite a late charge from former WRC champion Mikko Hirvonen.

The Finn started the day just over four minutes off of de Villiers but was unable to bridge the gap over the shorter final stage and remained fourth overall as Toyota's Leeroy Poulter rounded out the top five.

Final Dakar Rally 2016 standings:

1.Stephane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret Peugeot45hr 22m 10s
2.Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel Mini-BMW+34m 58s
3.Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz Toyota+1hr 2m 47s
4.Mikko Hirvonen/Michel Perin Peugeot+1hr 5m 18s
5.Leeroy Poulter/Robert Howie Toyota+1hr 30m 43s
6.Nani Roma/Alex Haro Mini-BMW+1hr 41m 06s
7.Cyril Despres/David Castera Peugeot+1hr 49m 04s
8.Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov Toyota+2hr 1m 45s
9.Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena Peugeot+2hr 22m 09s
10.Harry Hunt/Andy Schulz Mini-BMW+3hr 11m 30s



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