ICYMI | Carlos Sainz wins Dakar Rally for third time

First-placed Mini driver Carlos Sainz (C), celebrates as he is congratulated by second-placed Toyota's Nasser Al-Attiyah (R) and by third-placed Mini's Stephane Peterhansel on the finish area in Qiddiya at the end of the stage 12 of the Dakar 2020 between Haradh and Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia.
First-placed Mini driver Carlos Sainz (C), celebrates as he is congratulated by second-placed Toyota's Nasser Al-Attiyah (R) and by third-placed Mini's Stephane Peterhansel on the finish area in Qiddiya at the end of the stage 12 of the Dakar 2020 between Haradh and Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia.
Franck Fife

Veteran Spanish driver Carlos Sainz won the Dakar Rally for the third time on Friday, finishing with a comfortable winning margin in the first running of the event in Saudi Arabia.

The 57-year-old crossed the line in the 12th and final stage 6min 21sec ahead of nearest challenger and reigning champion Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar, who had managed to cut Sainz's lead to just 24 seconds on Tuesday but fell back after navigation blunders.

Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso finished 13th in his Dakar debut, a distant 4hr 42min 47sec behind the winner.

Sainz, the father of F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr., seized control of the race from the third stage in his X-raid Mini.

He has now won the Dakar with three different manufacturers, having previously triumphed with Volkswagen in 2010 and Peugeot in 2018.

Stephane Peterhansel was third at 9 min 58 sec behind in his Mini. Both the Frenchman and Sainz won four stages each in the marathon 12-day, 7800km race.

Ricky Brabec triumphed in the motorbike section for Honda, becoming the first US rider to win the gruelling race.

Alonso's first participation was a bruising affair as the 38-year-old Spaniard suffered a double rollover in the tenth stage after hitting a dune at an awkward angle.

The race was marred by the death of Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves during Sunday's seventh stage.

The decision to stage the race in Saudi Arabia this year and for at least the next four years sparked an angry reaction from critics of the kingdom's human rights record.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
What's more important when you're deciding to purchase a vehicle?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Affordability
29% - 249 votes
Safety features
10% - 83 votes
Reliability
38% - 331 votes
Good fuel consumption
12% - 105 votes
Styling
5% - 47 votes
Power figures
5% - 45 votes
Vote