Carlos Sainz wins third Dakar title - Alonso finishes 13th

17-01-2020 14:57 | Updated: 17-01-2020 15:03
by Adam Newton
General
Carlos Sainz wins third Dakar title - Alonso finishes 13th

Carlos Sainz has secured victory in the Dakar Rally for the third time, finishing over six minutes clear of his nearest rival Nasser al-Attiyah, whilst Spaniard Fernando Alonso finished in 13th on his debut at the race.

Sainz, father of McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr, won four of the 12 stages and led all the way since stage three.

The 57-year old finished ahead of al-Attiyah and 13-time winner Stephane Peterhansel to add to his titles in 2010 and 2018.

Former F1 star Alonso completed the infamously tough race at his first attempt, and said at the finish line, according to AS: "Glad to be here, it is the toughest rally on the planet and finishing it was one of the priority objectives for me. 

"Almost every day I felt competitive, even at this stage we had a flat tyre, we reached Al Rajhi and we still made rooms. I think we would have played the stage victory once again, so I can't be happier. 

"I know there are people who have tried several times until they finish their first Dakar, I have had the luck and the perfect team to get it at the first.

"Every day is a new adventure, there are never two alike. Apart from the difficulty of the stage itself and the terrain, there is always the uncertainty that the mechanics withstand, that you have no errors and do not miss ... A series of complicated factors that make it very hard, but I have had the ideal team to do this adventure and finish, and in a competitive way."

What's next for Alonso?

The Spaniard is close to agreeing a deal with Andretti to race the Indy 500 in May, his third effort at the race. 

He's chasing the Triple Crown of the Monaco GP, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indy 500, with Graham Hill the only previous one to do it.

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