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HomeSportsCarlos Sainz achieves the second best mark in the Dakar prologue

Carlos Sainz achieves the second best mark in the Dakar prologue

The Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) showed from the first moment its favoritism in the 44th edition of the Dakar, which started this Saturday, and prevailed in the 19-kilometer prologue with a time of 10 minutes and 56 seconds, 12 seconds ahead of the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Audi) and in 36 seconds the South African Brian Baragwanath (Century Racing).

A first day of competition short on the special stage but with great importance since, in addition to counting for the final classification, the first 15 will choose, in reverse order, their position at the start of the special 1B being able to avoid opening the track or going too far back and being harmed by traffic.

In addition, the prologue will help the drivers to continue adapting to their cars, as they have ahead 815 link kilometers (with a set maximum speed of between 100 and 120 kilometers per hour) until reaching the camp in Ha’il.

From day one he wanted to mark Al-Attiyah territory. The Qatari, winner of three editions of the Dakar (2011, 2015 and 2019) recognized in the previous one that winning the fourth in Saudi Arabia it was something “very important to him”, and he did not want to leave anything behind. 19 kilometers with more than half (57 percent) on sand in 10 minutes and 56 seconds to lead the classification.

Behind him are his main rivals, with the exception of the French Stéphane Peterhansel, 14 times winner of the Dakar and one minute and 12 seconds left. The one who did squeeze Al-Attiyah was his partner at Audi, who presents a innovative hybrid vehicle, Carlos Sainz. Only 12 seconds were the Spanish and behind, and with the same time both (11:32) the South Africans Baragwanath and Henk Lategan (Toyota).

A first day of competition without surprises before starting the real fire. A 334-kilometer special awaits the pilots and co-drivers tomorrow Sunday, starting and finishing in Ha’il, where the tracks, and consequently the navigation, will be the keys to achieving a good result.

The top five finishers in the Dakar Rally car category:

  1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar): 10:56
  1. Carlos Sainz (Spain): 11:08
  1. Brian Baragwanath (LDS): 11:32
  1. Henk Lategan (South Africa): 11:32
  1. Sebastien Loeb (France): 11:33.


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