Spanish driver Carlos Sainz wins Dakar Rally for third time | Sunday Observer

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz wins Dakar Rally for third time

First-placed for the auto category JCW X-RAID Team Spain’s driver Carlos Sainz (C), celebrates as he is congratulated by second-placed Toyota’s team Qatar’s driver Nasser Al-Attiyah (R) and by third-placed JCW X-RAID Team France’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, on January 17, 2020. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)
First-placed for the auto category JCW X-RAID Team Spain’s driver Carlos Sainz (C), celebrates as he is congratulated by second-placed Toyota’s team Qatar’s driver Nasser Al-Attiyah (R) and by third-placed JCW X-RAID Team France’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, on January 17, 2020. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

QIDDIYA AFP: Veteran Spanish driver Carlos Sainz won the Dakar Rally for the third time on Friday, finishing with a comfortable winning margin in Saudi Arabia.

The 57-year-old led from the third stage and crossed the finish line 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.

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, 7,800-kilometre (4,800-mile) race.

This year’s Dakar Rally was controversially staged in Saudi Arabia, a decision which has sparked an angry reaction from critics of the country’s human rights record.

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