Published: Sun, January 19, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz wins Dakar Rally for third time

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz wins Dakar Rally for third time

There's no doubt the 25-year-old's reverence for his dad - "El Matador" as he is aptly known - will have gone up another notch following Carlos Sainz Sr's splendid third win in the Dakar on Friday.

Meanwhile, a possible infringement by Toyota's Nasser Al-Attiyah was investigated within the aftermath of the ninth stage, with the Qatari having risked a one-minute penalty for rushing in one of many stage's speed-limited zones.

Sainz stayed within minutes of Al-Attiyah's dust on the 12th and last stage, a 167-kilometre route from Haradh to Qiddiya.

"It was fantastic, a first time in Saudi Arabia, of course you can always improve but it was a fantastic effort", he added.

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

Toyota Gazoo Racing team boss Glyn Hall said his outfit received "an inquiry" from the stewards regarding the matter, but stressed Al-Attiyah had been adamant that he had broken no rule.

It feels like just recently, I read Scott Harden's article about why an American has never won a Dakar.

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Asked about defending his title next year Sainz said: "It's too early to think about it, let me enjoy this".

Peterhansel completed his 31st Dakar on the podium for the 16th time.

Brabec is the first American to win the Dakar on two wheels since the grueling endurance event started from Paris through the Sahara desert to the Senegalese capital in West Africa in 1979.

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.

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso finished 13th on his Dakar debut, almost five hours behind the victor. "We just regroup and get ready for the Dakar 2021 and we come back here to try and get that number one plate back". And we're here. We won.

"At the end, we put the pieces to the puzzle together", enthused Brabec, who finished second on the final stage to wind up 16m26s ahead of Pablo Quintanilla's Husqvarna. We had to be smart and focused every day.

Now, Ricky Brabec has just made history by winning Rally Dakar 2019.

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