Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz Sr. is under investigation after a quad rider accused him of hitting him during Saturday’s seventh stage between La Paz and Uyuni, something the Peugeot Sport driver denies.
Dutch rider Kees Koolen says Sainz hit his quad and failed to stop, with the latter mandatory if a driver witnesses an incident, and to assist the affected competitor and warn organisers about the accident.
However, Sainz denies any contact was made with Koolen, and if there had been there would have been damage to both the quad and the Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi, and the veteran Spaniard is not expecting any penalties to come his way.
“There are times when I can have some doubts, I know for sure that I didn’t hit any quads,” said Sainz. “It was a very muddy area. I warned him with the sentinel and I saw that he saw me and that he went off the road. I accelerated and when I did I noticed he lost control because there was a lot of mud.
“Then he came back onto the road and I miraculously avoided him. I was very close, but I didn’t touch him. I hope not I didn’t hit him and there must be an error. I think it was more his fault than mine.
“I gave my version and he gave his. My car doesn’t have any impacts and neither does his quad. If I had hit him with the car I’d destroy the quad and we’d be discussing something more serious.
“Thank God nothing happened, but the one who lost control of the quad was him.”