Stephane Peterhansel cruises to Desert Challenge victory

Stephane Peterhansel has cruised to victory of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in his Mini John Cooper Works Rally car, maintaining a gap of nearly nine minutes to his nearest rival.

Peterhansel and co-driver Andrea Peterhansel took it steady on the final day of the event to become the first husband and wife team to win an FIA Cross Country Rally event.

Khalid Al Qassimi held onto second with a solid performance across the dunes, ahead of third-placed Aron Domzala.

The Pole battled front end damage during Thursday but continued to push his Toyota Hilux to its limit to achieve a podium finish.

T3 category competitors Casey Currie and Reinaldo Varela finished in fourth and fifth after Vladimir Vasilyev dropped back to sixth with technical issues.

Seventh-placed Martin Prokop admitted to making some mistakes during the final day of the rally but had over an hour in hand over Cyril Despres in eighth.

Thomas Bell and Khalid Al Jafla completed the top 10, with Thursday’s stage winner Jakob Przygonki, the only competitor to take two stage wins across the event, in 18th after being unable to start yesterday’s stage.