Carlos Sainz, Ricky Brabec win Dakar Rally


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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Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor “It is great for to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”