Sainz wins 2020 Dakar Rally for X-raid Mini, Alonso 13th

Carlos Sainz has secured his third Dakar Rally victory in the 2020 edition of the event, held in Saudi Arabia for the first time ever.

Listen to this article

Two-time world rally champion Sainz, father of McLaren Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr, finished 6m21s clear of reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah after 12 stages.

Representing X-raid Mini in this year's event, Sainz will now have won the Dakar with three different manufacturers, having previously triumphed with Volkswagen in 2010 and Peugeot in 2018.

The victory is X-raid Mini's first since its four successive triumphs between 2012 and 2015, and a first for the Mini John Cooper Works Buggy model it had debuted in the 2018 Dakar.

Having bagged four stage wins over the course of the marathon, Sainz and co-driver Lucas Cruz arrived into the final day of competition with a 10-minute buffer over Al-Attiyah and Stephane  Peterhansel.

It never came under serious threat as he paced himself through the shortened 167km stage, surrendering only four minutes to Al-Attiyah.

Sainz now only needs to arrive at the finish line in Qiddiya for his victory to be made official.

Though he missed out on victory, Al-Attiyah will have capped off a sixth podium in the last seven editions by beating Peterhansel to the runner-up spot.

With only six seconds in hand over Peterhansel to start the day, Al-Attiyah caught and overtook the Frenchman's road-opening Mini buggy to cement himself in second place.
He also picked up his first stage win of the 2020 Dakar at the very final attempt.

Behind Peterhansel, who will celebrate his 17th Dakar podium, local driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi took his best Dakar finish yet in fourth place in his Overdrive Toyota.

Al-Attiyah's Toyota Gazoo squadmates Giniel de Villiers and Bernhard ten Brinke made it four Hiluxes in the top seven, the pair separated by sixth-place finisher Orlando Terranova in the X-raid Mini 4x4.

The 2020 marathon featured two first-time stage winners in Vaidotas Zala, a newcomer to the Mini ranks, and Mathieu Serradori, who was a standout eighth at the finish in his Century buggy.

Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso passed the final stage 3m25s slower than Al-Attiyah, good enough for fourth-fastest on the day - behind also Yasir Seaidan (Mini) and Terranova.

Alonso has completed his maiden Dakar in 13th place overall, trailing Sainz by over four and a half hours at the marathon finish - as a consequence of lengthy repairs on the second stage and a roll during the 10th.

This was the first time since 2015 that no Peugeot finished in the top three, or indeed the top 10, in the Dakar.

Khalid Al Qassimi's privateer entry burned up after a promising start, while the other PH Sport-run Peugeot of Pierre Lachaume crashed out on the penultimate day.

General classification (top 10):

Pos. # Driver / Co-driver Car Time Gap
1 305

Spain Carlos Sainz

Spain Lucas Cruz

Mini 42h59m17s  
2 300

Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah

France Mathieu Baumel

Toyota 43h5m38s 6m21s
3 302 France Stephane Peterhansel
Portugal Paulo Fiuza
Mini 43h9m15s 9m58s
4 309

Saudi Arabia Yazeed Al-Rajhi

Russian Federation Konstantin Zhiltsov

Toyota 43h48m27s 49m10s
5 304

South Africa Giniel de Villiers

Spain Alex Haro

Toyota 44h6m26s 1h7m9s
6 311

Argentina Orlando Terranova

Argentina Bernardo Graue

Mini 44h11m32s 1h12m15s
7 307

Netherlands Bernhard ten Brinke

Belgium Tom Colsoul

Toyota 44h17m51s 1h18m34s
8 315

France Mathieu Serradori

Belgium Fabian Lurquin

Century 44h58m38s 1h59m21s
9 324

Saudi Arabia Yasir Seaidan

Russian Federation Alexy Kuzmich

Mini 46h41m34s 3h42m17s
10 322

China Wei Han

China Min Liao

Hanwei 46h50m24s 3h51m7s


Casale seals dominant third Dakar quad title
Previous article

Casale seals dominant third Dakar quad title

Next article

Kamaz scores Dakar 1-2 led by Karginov

Kamaz scores Dakar 1-2 led by Karginov