Carlos Sainz leads the Dakar after the toughest stage of the race

12/01/2024

Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz with the Audi RS Q e-tron are the leaders of the Dakar Rally after a terrifying stage of 758 kilometers, disputed in two days in which they have shown their potential not only at the controls of the Audi but also demonstrated their ability to strategize in one of the toughest days of the Dakar.

In the first part of this stage, Carlos and Lucas came from behind and after spending the night in the middle of the desert, they started today to finish second, just two minutes behind the winner Sebastien Loeb (Bahrain),
and deliver a major blow in the overall standings, which they lead by more than 20 minutes over their teammate Mattias Ekström (Audi RS Q e-tron) and half an hour ahead of Loeb, who is third.

The extreme stage disputed between yesterday and today has left without options two of the other favorites for the final victory, Nasser Al-Attiyah (Hunter) and Stéphane Peterhansel (Audi RS Q e-tron), who are 2 hours and 40 minutes behind the first and 3 hours and 23 minutes behind the Spaniards in the overall classification.

The drivers will have a well-deserved rest stage tomorrow after a long liaison that will take them to Riyadh, to regain strength and get the cars ready for the second week of the race, which is expected to be no less hard and complicated.

Carlos Sainz:It has been a difficult special both days. In the end we survived. We arrived at the rest day in the lead. We can make a good balance of the first week. We have to move forward with humility and go through stages without making big mistakes. And see what happens.