Fes, Morocco: Unfortunate engine issues put paid to Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah's hopes of FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies as the Qatari ace lost out to Stéphane Peterhansel by just one point.
Al Attiyah began the event with a nine-point lead and had built up a useful lead over the first three days, But disaster struck the Dakar champion on the fourth day as he stopped with technical issues and was forced to make his way back to the bivouac via the road section with a hefty amount of time penalties to follow.
The Toyota Gazoo Racing pairing were relying on rival Peterhansel finishing lower than fifth overall if they were to claim the world title again. But the Frenchman managed to reach the finish in fifth place and snatched the title from Al Attiyah by a single point.
South African driver Giniel de Villiers managed to claim the outright victory for the fourth time and the first with new Spanish co-driver Spaniard Alex Haro at the wheel of one of four Toyota Gazoo Racing Hiluxes.
Two-time FIA Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso gained valuable experience from his first-ever FIA cross-country event and overcame punctures, a front axle breakage and everything that the Moroccan desert could throw at him to reach the finish in 27th position with five-time Dakar winner Marc Coma acting as his co-driver.
Dutchman Bernhard Ten Brinke and Belgian Tom Colsoul were running strongly through the early stages before losing a lot of time after damaging the car in a hole. They recovered well to reach the finish in an unofficial 26th in the fourth of the Toyota Gazoo Racing cars.