Carlos Sainz extends his overall car lead with dominant victory on a sandy Stage 5.
The 2020 Dakar Rally really started to take shape on a wild Stage 5 which was dominated by sandy terrain. Carlos Sainz, Toby Price, Cyril Despres and Dmitry Sotnikov all bagged victories but Sam Sunderland suffered a heavy crash and is out of the race.
With the Rest Day in Riyadh now just one day away, we’re witnessing world class off-roaders going full speed at the 42nd edition of the world’s toughest rally. Here is all you need to know:
- Spaniard Carlos Sainz continued to stamp his authority on the car race by winning his second stage in Saudi Arabia. The win moves the 2010 and 2018 champion six minutes clear of Nasser Al-Attiyah who remains his closest competitor. Stéphane Peterhansel opened the stage and came home third to remain in contention, 18 minutes back.
- Sainz said: “The last part was fast and bumpy. We managed to catch Nasser (Al-Attiyah) in this section. We finished the stage together. We’re all pushing hard and doing a good job so far. The car is working well.”
- Toby Price also claimed a second stage win after an immaculate run on Stage 5. The two-time Dakar winner has sprung up the leaderboard to second and now trails leader Ricky Brabec by nine minutes.
- Price said: “The first part of it was stones and rocks again, but towards the end we were in the sand dunes. This made the navigation tricky. I got caught out by one square edge that kicked me off. Luckily I was able to get back on and I’m looking to stay healthy for the rest of the race.”
- Red Bull KTM Factory Team rider and 2017 champion Sam Sunderland crashed out of the race 187km into the timed special, suffering back and shoulder injuries. His teammates Matthias Walkner and Luciano Benavides fired up the rankings though to end the day sixth and eighth respectively.
- A second consecutive stage win was achieved by Red Bull Off-Road Team USA on the 353-kilometre special between Al Ula and Ha’il. The coaching crew of Cyril Despres (FRA) and co-driver Mike Horn (SUI) thundered along in their side-by-side OT3 – refreshed from an enforced rest day yesterday while their vehicle underwent repairs.
- The third OT3, driven by Mitch Guthrie Jr. (USA) – winner of Stage 4 – maintained sixth place in the overall SxS classification despite being handed the tricky task of opening the road. Sergei Kariakin is the new leader.
- With the halfway point of the Dakar almost in sight, Team Kamaz Master are flexing their muscles at the front of the truck race. A second consecutive 1-2-3 stage result has given the Russian truckers a vice-like grip on the general classification. Stage winner Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) was followed home by race leader Andrey Karginov (RUS), with team-mate Anton Shibalov (RUS) joining them on the podium.
- Ignacio Casale has been in fine form in the quad class over the first week. The Chilean is chasing his third Dakar quad title, and now has an advantage of more than half an hour in his category. Casale said: “Today is when the real Dakar started. There will be really tough stages and I’ll have to be ready for them physically.”
- Tomorrow takes the Dakar convoy to Riyadh. For those competitors managing to cross the dunes there will be a well-earned Rest Day waiting for them in Saudi Arabia’s capital city on Saturday.
Overall results after Stage 5:
1. Carlos Sainz (ESP) MINI Buggy 19h04m13s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) Toyota +05m59s
3. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) MINI Buggy +17m53s
1. Ricky Brabec (USA) Honda 19h07m19s
2. Toby Price (AUT) KTM +09m06s
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG) Honda +11m32s
1. Sergei Kariakin (RUS) Can-Am 23h21m52s
2. Casey Currie (USA) Can-Am +01m10s
3. Chaleco Lopez (CHI) Can-Am +01m47s
1. Andrey Karginov (RUS) Kamaz 20h10m02s
2. Anton Shibalov (RUS) Kamaz +14m53s
3. Siarhei Viazovich (BLR) Maz +23m58s
1. Ignacio Casale (CHI) Yamaha 24h10m47s
2. Giovanni Enrico (CHI) Yamaha +31m37s
3. Simon Vitse (FRA) Yamaha +41m39s