Dakar Stage 3 Highlights: Sainz takes overall lead as Alonso gets top 5

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The third stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally saw Carlos Sainz Sr take the overall race lead while Fernando Alonso had his best stage result so far.

Here are some of today’s highlights:

In the cars class, Carlos Sainz took the overall race lead when he won the third stage by a margin of 4:19 over Jakub Przygonski. Though defending race champion Nasser Al-Attiyah initially finished the stage 3:31 behind Sainz in the second position, he was assessed a three minute penalty. The penalty dropped Al-Attiyah to fifth overall. 

Yasir Seaidan finished the stage in the third position, 5:28 behind, while Fernando Alonso finished in the fourth position, 6:14 off of Sainz’s pace. 

Tuesday’s fourth-place finish has been the best so far for the two-time Formula One World Champion, who finished a disappointing 63rd in the second stage after his car sustained damage when it hit a rock.

Alonso now is ranked 32nd in the overall standings.

Overall: Carlos Sainz holds an advantage of 7:55 over Nasser Al-Attiyah.

In bikes, Ricky Brabec crossed all six checkpoints as the fastest rider to win by 5:56 over Jose Ingacio Cornejo. Kevin Benavides finished third, 7:22 behind, while Stage 2 winner Toby Price finished fifth. 

Overall: Ricky Brabec holds an advantage of 4:43 over Kevin Benavides.

In side by sides, Gerrard Farres Guell won by 0:15 over Sergei Kariakin. Meanwhile, American Casey Currie finished third, 1:37 behind. Currie’s third consecutive top 5 finish was enough for him to take the lead over Francisco Lopez Contardo in the overall standings. 

Overall: Casey Currie holds an advantage of 0:15 over Francisco Lopez Contardo.

In quads, Giovanni Enrico won by 1:01 over Simon Viste, while Ignacio Casale finished third, 3:29 behind. Despite being denied his third straight stage win, Casale added more than five minutes to his overall advantage over Rafal Sonik.

Overall: Ignacio Casale holds an advantage of 14:29 over Rafal Sonik.

In trucks, Andrey Karginov won by 4:54 over Stage 2 winner Siarhei Viazovich. Stage 1 winner Anton Shibalov finished third, 11:13 behind. 

Overall: Siarhei Viazovich holds an advantage of 2:18 over Andrey Karginov.

Stage Wins

Cars: [1] Vaidotas Zala (Stage 1), [1] Giniel De Villiers (Stage 2) and [1] Carlos Sainz (Stage 3)

Bikes: [1] Toby Price (Stage 1), [1] Ross Branch (Stage 2) and [1] Ricky Brabec (Stage 3)

Side-by-sides: [1]  Aron Domzala (Stage 1), [1] Francisco Lopez Contardo (Stage 2) and [1] Gerard Farres Guell (Stage 3)

Quads: [2] Ignacio Casale (Stage 1 and Stage 2) and Giovanni Enrico (Stage 3)

Trucks: [1] Anton Shibalov (Stage 1), [1] Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 2) and Andrey Karginov (Stage 3)

Highlights of Stage Three will air on NBCSN this evening at 6:00 p.m. ET.  The rally runs through Jan. 17.

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.