Carlos Sainz, Ricky Brabec win Dakar Rally

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Spain’s Carlos Sainz became a three-time Dakar Rally champion Friday, while American Ricky Brabec took the motorcycle crown, ending KTM’s 18-year win streak.

Sainz, whose son Carlos Sainz Jr. races in Formula One for McLaren, won his third Dakar Rally with a 6:21 margin of victory over 2019 champion Nasser Al-Attiyah. Sainz’s previous victories in the Rally came in 2010 and 2018.

Brabec’s maiden Dakar victory came in his fifth attempt. He and 2020 quads champion Casey Currie are the first Americans in Dakar history to win in their respective classes.

Both were first time winners in Saudi Arabia, which hosted the rally for the first time this year after 11 years of being staged in South America.

Here are some of the other highlights:

In the cars class, 2019 Dakar champion Nasser Al-Attiyah’s may have not been able to defend his title, but he ended the 2020 edition of the event on a high note by winning the final stage.

Al-Attiyah won by a margin 1:32 over Yasir Seaidan, but still came home just under six and a half minutes behind Sainz.

Stephane Peterhansel finished third in the final standings, 9:58 back.

Overall: Carlos Sainz won by a margin of 6:21 over Nasser Al-Attiyah.

In bikes, Brabec’s first victory in the Rally was the first for Honda since 1989. The American took the lead in the third stage and never looked back, and at one point held an advantage of more than 25 minutes over second place.

Pablo Quintanilla finished second overall in the final standings, while Toby Price finished third.

Overall: Ricky Brabec won by a margin of 16:26 over Pablo Quintanilla.

In side by sides, Casey Currie won the class title in only his second attempt, despite not winning a single stage.

Taking a ‘slow and steady wins the race approach’ to the rally, Currie successfully remained within the title hunt as faster title contenders dropped out of the race one-by-one due to mechanical issues.

Currie took the lead following a poor showing by then-leader Francisco Lopez Contardo in Stage 7, and did not not cede his position in the standings for the remainder of the event.

Reinaldo Varela won the final stage of the 2020 rally, defeating Blade Hildebrand by 0:24.

Overall: Casey Currie won by a margin of 39:12 over Sergei Kariakin.

In quads, Ignacio Casale claimed his third Dakar title in the class after taking a year off to race in the SxS category. Casale defeated Simon Viste for the overall victory by nearly 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, rookie Arkadiusz Lindner won his first stage, defeating Giovanni Enrico by 1:21. Viste finished third, 1:25 behind.

Overall: Ignacio Casale won by a margin of 18:24 over Simon Viste.

In trucks, Russian manufacturer Kamaz celebrated its 17th Dakar victory, as Andrey Karginov won the Rally for the second time in his career.

Karginov, who previously won Dakar in 2014, defeated teammate Anton Shibalov by over 42 minutes to win his second title.

He also won the final stage of the 2020 edition of the rally, winning by a margin if 2:01 over Aliaksei Vishneuski.

Overall: Andrey Karginov won by a margin of 42:26 over Anton Shibalov.

Stage Wins:

Cars: [4] Carlos Sainz (Stage 3, 5, 7 and 10), [4] Stephane Peterhansel (Stage 4, 6, 9 and 11), [1] Vaidotas Zala (Stage 1), [1] Giniel De Villiers (Stage 2). [1] Mathieu Serradori (Stage 8) and [1] Nasser Al-Attiyah (Stage 12)

Bikes: [2] Toby Price (Stage 1 and 5), [2] Ricky Brabec (Stage 3 and 6), [2] Pablo Quintanilla (Stage 9 and 11), [2] Jose Ingacio Cornejo (Stage 4 and 12), [1] Ross Branch (Stage 2), [1] Kevin Benavides (Stage 7) and [1] Joan Barreda Bort (Stage 10)

Side-by-sides: [2] Gerard Farres Guell (Stage 3 and 6), [2] Blade Hildebrand (Stage 7 and 9), [2] Mitch Guthrie (Stage 4 and 10), [2] Francisco Lopez Contardo (Stage 2 and 11), [2] Reinaldo Varela (Stage 8 and 12), [1]  Aron Domzala (Stage 1), and [1] Cyril Despres (Stage 5)

Quads: [4] Ignacio Casale (Stage 1, 2, 4 and 9), [2] Simon Viste (Stage 6 and 7), [1] Giovanni Enrico (Stage 3), [1] Romain Dutu (Stage 5), [1] Kamil Wisinewski (Stage 10), [1] Rafal Sonik (Stage 11) and [1] Arkadiusz Lindner (Stage 12)

Trucks: [6] Andrey Karginov (Stage 3, 6, 7, 8, 9,11 and 12), [3] Anton Shibalov (Stage 1, 4 and 10), [1] Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 2) and [1] Dmitry Sotnikov (Stage 5)

Highlights of the final stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally will air on NBCSN tonight at 6:00 p.m. ET.  

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Will Power nips Jack Harvey at finish to pace Road America practice

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Will Power led the only IndyCar Road America practice of the weekend Saturday, shooting to the top of the chart on his 22nd and final lap of the session at 1 minute, 46.0021 seconds in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet.

Dixon knocked Jack Harvey’s No. 60 Dallara-Honda from the top spot (which would have marked the first time that a Meyer-Shank Racing car led practice).

Josef Newgarden, Power’s Team Penske teammate, was third, followed by Felix Rosenqvist and Ryan Hunter-Reay (who went off course late in the session but sustained no damage).

Alex Palou, Colton Herta, Graham Rahal, defending race winner Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward rounded out the top 10 in the practice that preceded a Saturday-Sunday race weekend doubleheader for IndyCar at Road America.

PRACTICE RESULTS: Click here to see who was fastest in the session

RACE INFORMATION: What you need to know for today’s REV Group Grand Prix

RATED ROOKIE: Rinus VeeKay rebounding well from a tough debut

IndyCar tested some new cooling devices with cars from Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske. Several drivers have said the cockpit heat caused by the new aeroscreen was stifling during last week’s GMR Grand Prix, and IndyCar repositioned drink bottles this weekend to keep liquids cool. The pieces tried by IndyCar during the Road America practice won’t be available during the races Saturday and Sunday at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course.

Scott Dixon, who is seeking to open the season with his third consecutive IndyCar victory, was 15th fastest in the 75-minute session. Other notables in Road America practice: Marco Andretti (12th), Simon Pagenaud (19th).

Power is aiming for his second consecutive pole position after qualifying first last week on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Qualifying for the REV Group Grand Prix Race #1 will take place at 2:15 p.m. ET (NBCSNNBC Sports Gold).

The broadcast of the IndyCar race at Road America will begin at 5 p.m. on NBCSN.