Skip to main content

Sainz and Lopez win Dakar Rally opener in Peru

updated 4:21 PM EST, Sat January 5, 2013
Carlos Sainz of Spain claimed the first special stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally in Peru.
Carlos Sainz of Spain claimed the first special stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally in Peru.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Carlos Sainz fastest car on opening stage of Dakar Rally in Peru
  • Former world rally champion completes 13km in seven minutes 40 seconds
  • Chile's Francisco Lopez wins motorcycling stage
  • Annual race will take in 8,000km and three countreis in Latin America

(CNN) -- Former two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz showed his pedigree by claiming the first special stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally in Peru Saturday,.

Driving for team Buggy, the Spaniard completed the 13km leg from Peru's capital Lima in seven minutes 40 seconds.

He had an eight-second advantage over Argentina's Lucio Alvarez, in a Toyota, with French driver Guerlain Chicherit, in an SMG, taking third.

Sainz, who won the grueling endurance event in 2010, saw his team Qatari teammate, Nasser al-Attiyah, who was the 2011 champion, take fourth.

Read: Triple amputee takes on motorsport's most dangerous race

Reigning title holder, Stephane Peterhansel of France, driving a Mini, took eighth place in the short sprint section, but was already one minute and 42 seconds adrift of the 50-year-old Sainz.

Peterhansel claimed a remarkable 10th Dakar crown in last year's race, four in the cars and six in the motorcycle section.

American NASCAR champion Robby Gordon made a disastrous start in his Hummer, coming to a halt on course and despite eventually restarting came in over 10 minutes down.

Read: Peterhansel and Despres seal 2012 edition

Chile's Francisco Lopez, riding a KTM, took the honors in the motorcycle section with a clocking of seven minutes 51 seconds.

He edged out Dutchman Frans Verhoeven on a Yamaha by a single second with Pablo Quintanilla of Chile third for Honda at five seconds.

Last year's winner, Cyril Despres of France, who is bidding for a fifth Dakar crown, finished fifth on his KTM, 13 seconds back.

The field of cars, motorcycles, quad bikes and trucks will be negotiating over 8,000 kilometers across Peru, Argentina and Chile before the finish on January 20 in Santiago.

It is the fifth time the rally has taken place in South America, having formerly finished in the Senegalese capital of Dakar.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
ADVERTISEMENT