Carlos Sainz is a triple Dakar champion
It’s been really tight from the first day and we’ve had to push until the end. We needed to be at 100 percent all the time and this is not easy. It makes the victory even nicer when the battle is so tough. On top of that I win in a third different car, I’m very proud of that
2020 Dakar Rally Car Race Top 5
The Car Class witnessed a battle royale of the Dakar Rally’s undisputed legends, and three men with 17 Dakar titles between them slugged it out on the Saudi Arabian landscape for almost two weeks. Carlos Sainz, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stéphane Peterhansel ended up first, second and third respectively and covered by just over 10 minutes heading into the final stage.
It was MINI X-Raid man Sainz who underlined his second week dominance, topping the general classification on Stage 3 and, despite a late scare, stayed on top all the way to Qiddiya alongside co-driver Lucas Cruz, winning four stages and giving the MINI its first victory since its four successive triumphs between 2012 and 2015.
The gap between Sainz’s team-mate Peterhansel in third and 2019 Dakar champion Al-Attiyah in second was down to six seconds at the end of Stage 11, but on Stage 12 Al-Attiyah caught and overtook the 13-time Dakar winner to consolidate second place overall and win his first stage on the final day.
As well as the heavyweight scrap for the top three places, other competitors turned in some striking performances. Saudi Toyota driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi occupied the top positions throughout the event and took his best Dakar finish in fourth place.
Rookie Vaidotas Zala in the MINI became a first time stage winner as did and Mathieu Serradori, who ended up a superb eighth overall at the finish in his Century buggy. Double Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso completed his maiden Dakar in 13th place overall, four-and-a-half hours behind Sainz at the end of Stage 12.
Price takes 2nd for KTM as Brabec brings it home on two wheels for Honda
Every time I’ve finished the Dakar I’ve been on a podium step, so we’ve kept that run going. Now we’re going to regroup ahead of Dakar 2021. I’ll be back and looking to get the #1 plate again
2020 Dakar Rally Bike Race Top 5
KTM’s Toby Price and Sam Sunderland started the 2020 Dakar Rally strongly with Price winning the opening stage and Sunderland triumphing on day two of the 2020 Dakar Rally. Stage 3 saw the turn of Honda’s Ricky Brabec to win a stage after finishing strongly in the opening stages, and from there the American never looked back.
Brabec, competing in his fifth Dakar Rally, went on to stamp his authority on the event, and stayed at the head of the standings by consistently finishing in the top five in every stage but one. Heading into Friday’s final stage Brabec held a lead of almost 14 minutes over Pablo Quintanilla and came home second on the stage to seal the win.
Price ended up third overall, 24 minutes off the lead – the two-time Dakar winner and reigning champion continuing his impressive streak of finishing in the top three whenever he finishes the rally. Team-mate Walkner enjoyed a fierce battle with Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo, narrowly losing out to the Chilean on the final stage and settling for fifth.
The 2020 Dakar Rally was not without incident. on Sunday’s Stage 7 it was announced that Portuguese Dakar veteran Paulo Gonçalves had died following a fall on the 546km route to Wadi al-Dawasir. Forty-year-old Gonçalves, who was competing in his 13th Dakar Rally, fell 276km into the stage and medics found him unconscious after he went into cardiac arrest. Gonçalves was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
As a mark of respect, Stage 8 of the rally was cancelled for the Bike and Quad categories.
Currie is best of the SSVs and Red Bull Off-Road Team USA impress
There’s still a lot work to go into this programme to get it to where we want it to be, but there were lots of positive steps at this Dakar. We showed in the second week that we can win stages and we’ve learned a lot for future races
2020 Dakar Rally SSV Race Top 5
- Casey Currie (USA) 53h 25m 52s
- Sergei Kariakin (RUS) +39m 12s
- Francisco López (CHI) +52m36s
- Conrad Rautenbach (ZSA) +1h 12m 19s
- Jose López (ESP) +1h 20m 38s
The fight for the overall win in the SSV Class proved a highlight of the 2020 Dakar Rally. The lead changed five times over the first six stages before American Casey Currie grabbed hold of the rally and held on to win in his second Dakar appearance.
During week one’s stages, Chilean Francisco López looked to be in the box seats for a bid to take the overall lead, but the reigning champion ended up suffering navigational issues and losing time – most notably on Stage 7 when he lost nearly an hour and dropped to third as 2017 champion Sergei Kariakin took up the pursuit of Currie and López was forced to settle for third.
Guthrie Jr and Hildebrand both won three stages and Despres, a coaching figure in the team, claimed one. Reliability proved the team’s Achilles’ heel, Despres retiring first and withdrawing then restarting under the Dakar Experience rules where results were not counted in the overall standings, and he eventually handed his engine over to Guthrie Jr.
Both Guthrie Jr and Hildebrand had to enter the latter stages of the rally via the Dakar Experience rules, but they showed phenomenal pace and that was underlined by a brace of one-two finishes.
Casale was king of the Quads in Saudi Arabia
I had some problems during the second week, but we solved them as well as we could. We worked hard all year long with the mechanics and now I can celebrate this win. Thanks a lot and Viva Chile!
2020 Dakar Rally Quad Race Top 5
- Ignacio Casale (CHI) 52h 04m 39s
- Simon Vitse (FRA) +18m 24s
- Rafał Sonik (POL) +1h 4m 15s
- Manual Andujar (ARG) +3h 30m 16s
- Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +4 38m 53s
Not even getting horribly lost on Stage 10 could stop Chilean rider Ignacio Casale claiming his third Dakar Rally title.
The first nine stages all belonged to Casale as he set about opening up a gap of more than 44 minutes on second-place man Simon Vitse, however, halfway through the eventually shortened 524km marathon Stage 10 from Haradh to Shubaytah, Casale lost huge chunks of time and ended the day just 16 minutes ahead with two stages remaining.
Casale regrouped, and by the start of the 12th and final stage of the Dakar Rally, the Chilean had padded out his lead to the tune of 20 minutes and coasted home fourth on the final stage to win his third Dakar.
KAMAZ podium lock out denied by rivals MAZ
It was important for us to confirm the first position of Kamaz in the truck category of the Dakar and to show the advantage of our vehicles in this new region for the rally. I am glad that our team finished first again and delighted fans in Russia and around the world
2020 Dakar Rally Truck Race
- Andrey Karginov (RUS) 46h 33m 36s
- Anton Shibalov (RUS) +42m 26s
- Siarhei Viazovich (BLR) +2h 4m 42s
- Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) +2h 55m 28s
- Martin Macik (CZE) +3h 28m 8s
In the mighty Truck Class Andrey Karginov claimed his second Dakar Rally triumph and spearheaded a 17th Dakar victory for KAMAZ, but the Russian truck manufacturer didn’t quite have it all their own way in the Saudi desert.
It wasn’t until Stage 4 of the rally that eventual winner Karginov would take the overall lead. Instead, the early leader was the MAZ crew with Siarhei Viazovich at the wheel, as 2019 winner Eduard Nikolaev and runner up Dmitry Sotnikov dropped out of contention in the opening week.
The latter stages saw some impressive dune-hopping duels between Karginov, Sotnikov and Shibalov, but in reality Karginov’s overall win was never in doubt and he ended up more than 42 minutes ahead of Shibalov. Viazovich spoiled the KAMAZ one-two-three by hanging on to third after a smooth and steady fortnight in the desert.
Watch recaps and highlights of all stages of the Dakar Rally 2020 on Red Bull TV.