Carlos Sainz Sr. secured his second career Dakar Rally victory on Saturday, and praised Peugeot Sport for giving him such a great car as the French manufacturer bows out of the event with a third victory in four years.
Sainz, alongside co-driver Lucas Cruz, finished the fourteenth and final stage, a 119-kilometre run that started and finished in Cordoba in Argentina, down in ninth position, but the damage had been done earlier in the rally, and he ended up forty-three minutes and forty seconds ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah.
The Spaniard, who took his previous Dakar victory back in 2010 with Volkswagen, says the 2018 event was the most difficult he has been a part of thanks to the ‘truly challenging’ route that started in Peru and ended in Argentina, via Bolivia.
“It was a very difficult rally for me,” said Sainz. “It’s probably been the most difficult Dakar that I’ve ever taken part in, even counting the ones in Africa.
“The organisers gave us a truly challenging route, with so many incredibly difficult stages. Even the two stages right before the finish were unbelievable and Peru was also very tricky.”
Sainz says the victory is satisfying for both himself and co-driver Cruz, and he heaped praise on Peugeot, who will end their tenure in the Dakar Rally on a high.
“Of course, it’s very satisfying for Lucas and me to win such a difficult rally,” said Sainz. “And the same applies to the whole Peugeot team, which has done a fantastic job throughout the entire programme.
“The Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi is probably the best car I have ever driven on rally raids. Thank you to everyone who has supported us in this project, and a big thank you to Peugeot Sport.”