Carlos Sainz is the next high profile victim of Dakar’s unforgiving nature. The Peugeot team evaluated his car’s damages after a crash in Stage 4 and issued the following statement.
“Despite rolling with five kilometres remaining of Stage 4 competitive section between San Salvador de Jujuy (Argentina) and Tupiza (Bolivia) Carlos Sainz and his co-driver Lucas Cruz succeeded in reaching the overnight bivouac. However, following the technical team’s evaluation of the amount work that would have been necessary to repair the car, it was judged that the mechanics would be unable to complete the job in the allotted time. The team has consequently decided to retire the N°304 Peugeot 3008DKR.”
Carlos Sainz admitted it was a devastating decision as he had good pace since the start of the rally
But he was aware the car probably could not be repaired even before the team’s official decision.
“The car could not continue by itself because we had broken the radiator, the shifter… we pushed the car, put it on the road, trying to get help,” said Sainz before the official confirmation of his retirement from the event was made, quoted by motorsport.com. “We are already out. I don’t think the car can be repaired because it’s so damaged, but they’re looking at it.”
“3008DKR is a real improvement over last year’s car. I am so disappointed that I won’t be able to reap the benefit of its potential”, he added.
The Spaniard’s crash happened in a corner under braking: “The car put itself on the site, I touched the inside and I rolled, up and down, and got into a ditch of 10-15 metres. Now I have back pains, pain in the lower back muscle.”
“It’s a shame. Again, we had lost so much time at the start of the stage – we had to recover, and recover, and recover. And when you take so many risks, these things can happen.”