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Sainz wins Dakar Rally, Al Attiyah second

Carlos Sainz

Bengaluru, January 21: Carlos Sainz won the Dakar Rally in Argentina for the second time as Peugeot bowed out with their third win in a row.

The victory, ahead of Qatar's two-time winner Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah in a Toyota, handed Sainz his second title in the grueling endurance race that switched to South America from Africa in 2009 for security reasons.

The double world rally champion previously won in 2010 with Volkswagen.

Peugeot's works team, who won the previous two Dakars with Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, had already announced their departure after this year's edition.

Sainz had led into the final stage with a 46 minute advantage over Al Attiyah and he took no risks after a marathon two weeks from Peru through Bolivia that have seen a spate of high-profile retirements including that of Sebastien Loeb and Andre Villas- Boas.

Sainz finished ninth on the last stage, beating Al Attiyah by 43 minutes.

The third place on the podium went to South African Giniel de Villiers in a Toyota, ahead of Peterhansel.

"We managed to do it," said Sainz. "They (Peugeot) have already won two times, but I think I deserved this victory because we have put lot of effort into this car.

"I had ups and downs, but I always tried my best. Especially this rally, it has been so, so hard," added the Spaniard, who left open the question of whether he would be back next year without Peugeot.

"At the beginning I said we'll take it a little bit easier, but Peugeot said we'd have to go flat out. I raced a couple of days and pushed really hard, but then the race was a case of not making mistakes."

(With Agency inputs)

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Story first published: Sunday, January 21, 2018, 1:56 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 21, 2018
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