Carlos Sainz and Nászer el-Attija have both won the Dakar three times so far. Although the Spanish rider has become a legend in the WRC, he can show more in his career than his Qatari counterpart, but that doesn’t predestine him for success. For the past three years, they have been able to take turns winning the world’s biggest off-road, Sainz in the even-numbered years, el-Attija in the odd-numbered years, but that doesn’t mean it’s the latter’s turn now.
Moreover, the Andalusian Rally, which replaces the Moroccan Rally, the traditional main rehearsal of the Dakar (the North African race was canceled due to the coronavirus epidemic), the two stars fought extremely sharply. The Toyota driver struggled with half-axle problems on the first day, so the Spaniard overtook him, but el-Attija was able to turn in the remaining three days, although Sainz cut off more than half of Saturday’s respectable (more than 7 minutes) advantage. In the end, Toyota finished in the lead with a pleasantly close advantage for the spectators, just 3 minutes 14 seconds ahead of Sainz racing with the MINI. The two brands, by the way, drew a line pattern in the top five: in third and fifth place were also Toyotas, while in fourth was Carlos ’partner, the genius Stephane Peterhansel (13 Dakar victories, six of them on motorcycles, with seven cars).
The 2021 Dakar Rally will once again be held in Saudi Arabia, from 3 to 15 January. The 43rd race in the history of Dakar will take place on brand new stages. Starting from the city of Jeddah, the field makes a huge lap and then returns to the start site after 12 days.