Two years after becoming the oldest driver to win the Dakar Rally, 57-year-old Carlos Sainz is the competition's victor again, winning in Saudi Arabia.
Sainz's closest competitors, Stepháne Peterhansel and Nasser Al-Attiyah, the latter of whom won last year's edition, did not put up much of a challenge; the final 166-kilometre stretch was fairly straightforward for Sainz, who nevertheless remained focused and did not celebrate until his victory was confirmed.
"I'm really happy. Thanks to Lucas, to the team, to all the fans, to my family. And to Red Bull and Bahrain. It was a really tough rally from the start, and I'm delighted with the win," Sainz said after the race.
Sainz was not the only Spaniard to put in an impressive performance. Fernando Alonso, twice Formula One world champion, finished in 13th place, making him the highest-placed debutant. He did not rule out a return: "I'm happy at how this first attempt went. If I come back, it'll be to win it. But in order to do that I'll have to prepare well, think it out, and have a great team and vehicle."