Carlos Sainz clinched his third overall victory in the Dakar Rally on Friday after retaining his lead through the final stage in Saudi Arabia, as Fernando Alonso ended his debut event in 13th place.

Sainz Sr. had led the majority of the two-week stint in Saudi Arabia, and held a 10-minute advantage over Nasser Al-Attiyah heading into the final stage from Haradh to Qiddiya.

Al-Attiyah was able to win the stage for Toyota Gazoo Racing, but Sainz managed to lose just three minutes to wrap up his third Dakar win by 6m21s.

It marks the first win for the X-Raid Mini car since 2015, and is the second win in three years for Sainz and co-driver Lucas Cruz.

Dakar veteran Stephane Peterhansel was able to round out the podium positions in third, 9m58s behind Sainz.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso ended his Dakar debut 13th overall, capped off with a run to fourth place on the final stage, 3m25s off Toyota teammate Al-Attiyah.

Alonso finished the rally as the leading rookie in 13th place alongside co-driver Marc Coma, 4h42m off Sainz’s time.

The Spaniard is now without any confirmed racing plans for the year ahead, but is widely expected to return to the Indianapolis 500 for a third shot at winning the race.

In the motorcycle category, Honda ended KTM’s recent domination of the event as Ricky Brabec scored victory for the Monster Energy team, beating Pablo Quintanilla by 16 minutes. It marked the first time since 2000 a KTM bike had not won the motorcycle category at the Dakar.

 

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