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Leader Carlos Sainz abandons Dakar Rally

Leader Carlos Sainz abandons Dakar Rally

Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz abandoned the race Thursday after he careened his Volkswagen into a ravine but wasn't injured.
Sainz, a two-time world rally champion, and French co-pilot Michel Perin were taken by helicopter to Fiambala, where the 12th stage had begun, Dakar Rally spokesman Emilie Poucan told The Associated Press.
Sainz missed a sharp turn and tumbled four meters (13 feet) into a ravine, flipping his car at the 79-kilometer (49-mile) mark of the 253-kilometer (157-mile) stage from Fiambala to La Rioja.
Poucan said Sainz wasn't hurt and could have continued the race but Perin slightly injured his shoulder, forcing the pair to quit.
Thursday's stage has been the most difficult since the rally began on Jan. 3 in Buenos Aires, said Poucan, with drivers struggling through sand dunes and rain in western Argentina.
Sainz, who had won six of the 10 stages so far, began the stage more than 27 minutes ahead of Volkswagen teammate Mark Miller of the United States and 41:13 ahead of Giniel De Villiers of South Africa.
The Spaniard was in third place at the first checkpoint, 43 seconds behind Miller after 62 kilometers (39 miles). Miller was leading at the second checkpoint.


Updated : 2021-06-24 19:56 GMT+08:00