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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Audi hails “unimaginable for his age” Sainz after newest Dakar triumph work

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Sainz staved off a fierce problem from Prodrive’s Sebastien Loeb to assert prime honours within the forty sixth version of Dakar Rally, beating Overdrive’s Guillaume de Mevius by 1h20m as Loeb slipped to 3rd within the ultimate classification.

The end result marked the Spaniard’s fourth triumph on the earth’s most prestigious rally-raid after earlier successes with Volkswagen, Peugeot and Mini, and places him third behind Stephane Peterhansel and Nasser Al-Attiyah within the checklist of drivers with most wins.

Extra impressively, Sainz managed to perform this feat in his early 60s, beating his personal report from 2020 when he gained Dakar on its first go to to Saudi Arabia on the age of 58.

The importance of the end result was not misplaced on Sven Quandt, the supervisor of Audi’s Dakar companion Q Motorsport, who heaped reward on Sainz for belying his age and profitable one of many world’s hardest motorsport occasions throughout all disciplines.

“When he arrived on the bivouac he was very Positive, and that contaminated the entire group,” he mentioned.

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“In fact he is {old}, however he is nonetheless on the prime of his sport.

“That this man is unimaginable at his age and that if he feels prefer it he can nonetheless obtain many extra victories on the Dakar.

“We have identified one another for a very long time and mutual belief is one other key to this success.”

Picture by: Audi Communications Motorsport

#204 Group Audi Sport Audi RS Q e-tron E2: Carlos Sainz Sr, Lucas Cruz

Sainz was ready to participate in Dakar 2024 after recovering from a number of backbone fractures that he sustained in a crash ultimately 12 months’s occasion. 

Whereas Stephane Peterhansel fell by the wayside early on and Mattias Ekstrom additionally dropped out of rivalry with issues on Stage 8, Sainz had a comparatively clean run within the different remaining Audi as he held onto the lead he inherited on Stage 6 after Overdrive’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi retired from the rally.

Sainz’s victory additionally offered a becoming send-off for Audi, which is anticipated to exit cross-country rallying after three seasons with the RS Q e-tron with a view to step up its preparations for its Formulation 1 entry in 2026.

Requested what his victory meant to him, the Spaniard mentioned: “It was a victory in a really aggressive version, with a really particular automotive, with the fourth model [with which he gets the victory].

“It means quite a bit to me, and likewise to make historical past with the sort of automotive makes me very comfortable for Audi, within the final bullet we had we received it, and I am delighted, we have now to thank them for his or her confidence, that is it.”

Sainz has been an annual presence in Dakar since 2006, with this 12 months marking his seventeenth participation within the occasion throughout its three eras in Europe/Africa, South America and Saudi Arabia.

Requested if the 2024 Dakar had been probably the most particular to him, he mentioned: “It has been tremendously arduous, the end result says so. The automotive makes it particular. 

“It was a really tough begin, coming from an damage, with two fractured vertebrae, recovering and being right here profitable is a satisfaction and for me to be a part of this new historical past that Audi has achieved on this race. Very comfortable to take part in it and grateful to everybody.”

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