Sainz regains control on stage 10 as Dakar Rally battle heats up

Sainz regains control on stage 10 as Dakar Rally battle heats up

Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (ESP) of Bahrain JCW X-Raid Mini Team
races during stage 10 of Rally Dakar 2020 from Harad to Shubaytah, Saudi Arabia on January 15, 2020.

Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel lose over 10 minutes to the Spanish car legend.

Two-time winner Carlos Sainz regained control of the 2020 Dakar Rally car category from his long-time rivals Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stéphane Peterhansel after they lost over 10 minutes each to the Spaniard during Wednesday’s stage 10.

Here is all you need to know:

– Today’s stage saw a deterioration in weather conditions with the race directors deciding to halt proceedings after 345km between Haradh and Shubaytah due to strong winds.

– After Tuesday’s stage nine, Qatari driver Al-Attiyah had reduced Sainz’s overall lead to just 24 seconds while Frenchman Peterhansel stood a competitive six minutes and 38 seconds behind the Spaniard.

– With the leading trio boasting an astonishing 12 Dakar Rally car titles between them, Sainz got the upper hand again on Wednesday as he dug deep in Saudi Arabia to dominate the stage for another victory.

– The 1990 and 1992 WRC champion finished 3m 05s ahead of Polish driver Kuba Przygonski with 2009 Dakar champion Giniel de Villiers third 4m 26s behind.

– Peterhansel could only come in 10th and Al-Attiyah 17th as Sainz opened up an 18m 10s lead over Toyota driver Al-Attiyah and 18m 26s lead over his MINI Buggy team-mate Peterhansel in a crunch stage boost.

– Thursday’s 744km stage 11 looks likely to be the last big chance to cut the overall deficit to Sainz with Friday’s final stage only 447km into the Qiddiya finish.

– Al-Attiyah, 49, admitted: “At one point we got a little bit lost – that was just for two or three minutes. After getting that waypoint we took the wrong way, which took us 20km extra to drive. This is how it goes.”

– American Ricky Brabec finished second in the bike category to increase his advantage to 25m 44s over Chilean Pablo Quintanilla with defending champion Toby Price still in fourth place, Austrian Matthias Walkner sixth and Argentine Luciano Benavides seventh overall