Dakar auto, special triumph for Sainz: the 40th stage is the first for the electric Audi

In the third stage of the raid, the Spaniard takes the RS Q e-tron to victory: the Ingolstadt manufacturer rejoices, placing Peterhansel 3rd behind the Toyota of Lategan. Al Attiyah only 8th but remains leader, Loeb moves away

by our correspondent Paolo Ianieri

There is new energy in the Dakar. The electric one of Audi, which only takes three stages to impose its own law, with Carlos Sainz who on the day of conquering his 40th special in the rally raid, also gives the House of the four rings the first success of the RS Q e-tron , the prototype powered by three electric motors derived from Formula E (plus a fourth, thermal, whose task is solely to recharge the battery), which in the tests had not traveled more than 8,500 kilometers, and instead here at the Dakar is demonstrating a competitiveness that was not easy to imagine.

Bene Peterhansel

A great day for Audi, which in addition to Sainz, able to overtake the Toyota of South African Henk Lategan for just 38 “in the last kilometers of the day, also places Stephane Peterhansel in 3rd place, trailing by 1’41” and Mattias Ekstroem 5th at 2’59 “, 18” slower than the Nani Roma Hunter.

Al Attiyah eighth, Loeb collapses

A more complicated day for the leader of the standings, Nasser Al Attiyah, who finished 8th at 5’10 “, but can broadly smile for the troubles of Sebastien Loeb, his first rival in general, who finished 26th at 33’34 “. The Frenchman had problems with the longitudinal transmission and completed the special with only two-wheel drive. Thus, in the absolute, the advantage of the Qatari of Toyota rises to 37’40 “, with third, to 42’06” the Argentine Lucio Alvarez (Toyota). For Al Attiyah also a fine of 5 thousand euros because, at the technical checks after the second stage, on his Toyota Hilux the black box was disconnected. An irregularity that could have cost him disqualification, but which the race direction decided to punish with a fine and a warning not to repeat the irregularity, under penalty of exclusion from the race. Ekstroem, best Audi, is 19th at 1h53’41, Sainz, delayed as his teammate in the first special due to navigation problems, stays away at 2h19’21 ”.

The compliments of Carlos jr

Carlos Sainz junior also wanted to congratulate his father for the stage success. The Ferrari F1 driver tweeted: “For Carlos Sainz stage victory in Dakar number 40, but the first in history with an electric car. I know this is special to him. A great and hard work behind the scenes. Congratulations!”.


These are the updated rankings of the Dakar after the third stage from Al Artawiyah and Qaisumah of 555 km, of which 368 of special stages.

1. Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (SPA/SPA/Audi) 2h26’51”
2. Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings (SAF/SAF/Toyota) a 38”
3. Stéphane Peterhansel / Edouard Boulanger (FRA / FRA / Audi) a 1’41 ”
4. Nani Roma/Alex Haro Bravo (SPA/SPA/Prodrive) a 2’41”
5.Mattias Ekstrom / Emil Bergkvist (SVE / SVE / Audi) a 2’59 ”
6. Yazeed Al Rajhi / Michael Orr (ARA / GB / Toyota) a 3’46 ”
7.Giniel De Villiers/Dennis Murphy (SAF/SAF/Toyota) a 4’10”
8.Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/AND/Toyota) a 5’10”
9.Lucio Alvarez/Armand Monleon (ARG/SPA/Toyota) a 6’23”
10. Orlando Terranova / Daniel Oliveras Carreras (ARG / SPA / Prodrive) at 8’11 ”

General car ranking:

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/AND/Toyota) 9h31’22”
2. Sébastien Loeb / Fabian Lurquin (FRA / BEL / Prodrive) at 37’40 ”
3.Lucio Alvarez/Armand Monleon (ARG/SPA/Toyota) a 42’06”
4.Giniel De Villiers / Dennis Murphy (SAF / SAF / Toyota) at 45’22 ”(5 ‘penalty)
5. Yazeed Al Rajhi / Michael Orr (ARA / GB / Toyota) at 47’29 ”

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Dakar auto, special triumph for Sainz: the 40th stage is the first for the electric Audi