Spain's twice world rally champion, whose son and namesake
races in Formula One, had feared after reaching the overnight
bivouac in Tupiza that his car was too badly damaged to be
Peugeot confirmed that mechanics would be unable to complete the
job in the allotted time.
"It is obviously devastating to have to retire. We had been
running at a good pace since the start of the rally," said
Sainz, who had been in second place overall at the start of the
stage, in a statement.
"I am so disappointed that I won’t be able to reap the benefit
of its potential," the 2010 winner said of his Peugeot 3008 car.
This year's Dakar, one of the world's toughest endurance
challenges which ends in Buenos Aires on Jan. 14 after stages in
Paraguay and Bolivia, has seen a spate of high-profile
Twice winner Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar retired after ripping a
wheel off his Toyota in the third stage while reigning
motorcycle champion Toby Price of Australia was flown to
hospital on Thursday with a broken leg.
Five-times bike champion Cyril Despres of France is leading the
car standings for Peugeot after winning Thursday's high-altitude
The Dakar Rally started out as a grueling race from Paris across
the Sahara to the Senegalese capital but switched to South
America in 2009 for security reasons.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)
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