CARLOS SAINZ finished the third stage of the Dakar Rally, which was a long loop with start and finish in the city under construction in Neom, leading the general classification of the car category. The Madrid-born driver had a very intense fight with his teammate Stepháne Peterhansel during the 427 kilometres of timing.
The stage win has put the 57 year-old Spaniard into the overall lead in a stage fused with drama and intense driving.
Stage three saw a mixture of terrain. The teams encountered massive rocks, canyons and tough navigational challenges, and as the rally flew past the stage’s highest point of 1,400m there were some big crashes leading to some major gains and losses among those aiming for a top result.
The other principal Spanish driver, F1 star Fernando Alonso, drove at a lethal pace in an attempt to recover part of the two and a half hours lost the previous day. The Asturian started 17th, but soon showed his talent behind the wheel finishing forth with just 6:14 with Sainz at the finish.
The harshness of the Dakar was particularly cruel with two of the riders in the middle of the car category. Khaled Al Qassimi’s accident put the entire bivouac on edge as the Emirate driver left his Peugeot 3008 DKR totally destroyed. Minutes later, Russia’s Vladimir Vasylyev also had to say goodbye to the raid after his Mini caught fire at kilometre 294 of the special.
Spanish fans have delighted at the Spanish success during stage 3 Dakar 2020, the biggest day so far for Spanish drivers in the car category.