Carlos Sainz Sr takes 2020 Dakar Rally lead, Mini dominates again

Valentin Khorounzhiy
Sainz takes Dakar lead, Mini dominates again
Sainz takes Dakar lead, Mini dominates again

X-raid Mini driver Carlos Sainz Sr has taken the lead of the 2020 Dakar Rally after topping the third stage on Tuesday.

Sainz became the third different Mini driver to win a stage of the Saudi Arabia-based event, as he set the pace over the 265-mile loop around Neom in his buggy.

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His final winning margin on the day was three minutes and 31 seconds over reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, and he heads the Toyota driver by five minutes in the overall classification.

Stephane Peterhansel, who drives the other X-raid buggy, matched Sainz for pace for much of the stage, only to lose 10 minutes in the final stretch.

That meant Yakub Przygonski and privateer Yasir Seaidan completed the top four on the day in a pair of four-wheel-drive Minis.

Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, who had lost over two hours to repairs on Monday, was fifth-fastest as he finished the stage just six minutes slower than Sainz.

UPDATE

A post-stage penalty for Al Attiyah has now moved Alonso into fourth after the Qatari driver was deemed to have impacted Sainz's run through the second neutralised zone at the 184-mile mark.

Al Attiyah and co-driver Lucas Cruz were said to have been given several audible warnings to move aside, according to the official documents, and a review of the GPS data led to the decision to give Al Attiyah a three-minute penalty.

The overall order does not change but Al Attiyah is now 7m55s off Sainz's leading time.

Overnight leader Orlando Terranova lost 13 minutes to Sainz but remains within the top three overall, and has over 10 minutes in hand to Toyota driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Peterhansel.

Sainz takes Dakar lead, Mini dominates again
Sainz takes Dakar lead, Mini dominates again

Mathieu Serradori, who drives a Century CR6 buggy, gave up 20 minutes but remains an impressive sixth and is marginally ahead of Monday stage winner Giniel de Villiers (Toyota).

Former World Rally Championship regular Khalid Al Qassimi, who had entered the day in seventh place, demolished his privateer Peugeot in a roll around 186 miles into the stage and exited the marathon.

Also dropping out was returnee Vladimir Vasilyev, who looked on course to enter the top 10 in the general classification before his X-raid Mini caught fire.

Leading stage three times

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Gap

1

Carlos Sainz

Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

3h48m01.s

2

Jakub Przygonski

Orlen X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

4m19.s

3

Yasir Saeidan

Race World Team

Mini/BMW

5m28.s

4

Fernando Alonso

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

6m14.s

5

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

6m31.s

6

Yazeed Al-Rajhi

Overdrive Toyota

Toyota

7m36.s

7

Stephane Peterhansel

Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

10m26.s

8

Orlando Terranova

X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

12m52.s

9

Giniel de Villiers

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

16m21.s

10

Bernhard Ten Brinke

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

16m43.s

Overall leading times

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Gap

1

Carlos Sainz

Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

11h00m20.s

2

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

7m55.s

3

Orlando Terranova

X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

8m09.s

4

Yazeed Al-Rajhi

Overdrive Toyota

Toyota

18m58.s

5

Stephane Peterhansel

Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team

Mini/BMW

19m00.s

6

Mathieu Serradori

SRT Racing

Century/?

20m56.s

7

Giniel de Villiers

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

23m42.s

8

Bernhard Ten Brinke

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota

33m23.s

9

Martin Prokop

MP Sports

Ford

48m05.s

10

Vaidotas Zala

Agrorodeo

Mini/BMW

59m59.s

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