Dakar 2020: Carlos Sainz claims third title with victory in Saudi Arabia
Carlos Sainz has done it again. The Spaniard has claimed his third Dakar Rally title, with victory in Saudi Arabia. Sainz ended the rally with a time of 42hr 59min 17sec, a full 6min 21 seconds ahead of his nearest rival and defending Dakar champion Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (ESP) of Bahrain JCW X-Raid Mini Team race during stage 7 of Rally Dakar 2020
The 57-year-old Sainz won the Dakar in 2010 for Volkswagen, and in 2018 with the Peugeot team. He has also won the World Rally Championship title twice, in 1990 and 1992, for Toyota.
While it was Nasser Al-Attiyah who took victory in Stage 12 of the Dakar, the Qatari driver couldn't overhaul his rival's lead at the head of the order. Al-Attiyah, who drives a Hilux for the Toyota Gazoo Racing outfit, performed well all through the 2020 Dakar, chasing Sainz down all through, but never managing to get the better of him.
Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (ESP) of Bahrain JCW X-Raid Mini Team are seen at the Podium of Rally Dakar 2020 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on January 4, 2020
Third place overall went to Sainz's X-Raid Mini team-mate, Stephane Peterhansel. Mr. Dakar, who has won the event a whopping 13 times (six times on bikes and seven times in cars), claimed four stage wins, after recovering from issues early on. The Frenchman had a hard time at the rally, with new co-driver Paulo Fiuza navigating for him in English. This is the first time that Peterhansel has not used a French-speaking navigator at the Dakar.
Possibly the most high profile driver at the 2020 Dakar, Fernando Alonso finished 13th overall, taking home the prize for best rookie at the event.