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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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.