Audis Sainz takes first Dakar stage win for an electric car – Reuters

Qatars Nasser Al Attiyah reinforced his grip on the total lead after closest challenger Sebastien Loeb suffered 2 punctures and a transmission issue that left him on two-wheel drive.
The Frenchman, a nine-times world rally champ racing for the Bahrain Raid Xtreme group, dropped 37 minutes behind his Toyota rival, who was 8th in the phase.
Argentinas Lucio Alvarez was third general with South African Giniel De Villiers 4th in spite of a five-minute penalty for failing to stop after contact with Chilean bike rider Cesar Zumaran on Monday.
Sainz and Audi group mate and defending champ Stephane Peterhansel are defending phase wins rather than overall victory after a problem Sunday effectively wrecked their chances. learn more
The Spaniard is seventh in general, but 2 hours and 19 minutes behind Al Attiyah, while 14-times winner Peterhansel is 23 hours adrift.
In the motorcycle category, Britains Sam Sunderland ended up 17th but kept the general lead even if it was cut to four seconds by French rider Adrien Van Beveren.
The phase was won by Portuguese rider Joaquim Rodrigues, whose brother-in-law Paulo Goncalves died in the 2020 Dakar, for the Indian Hero group. It was his first phase triumph in the endurance occasion.
Australian Daniel Sanders, who led after the first stage, stated he had intentionally wasted time to avoid having to run first on Wednesday.
” Just before the surface, I had a picnic and sat for a bit and awaited 3 minutes,” he said.
” I simply played it smart since tomorrow is the longest stage of the race and I wished to draw back a bit to catch the men in front.
” It would have been cool to have another stage win however were here for 12 days not simply to win each phase because it happened to me on the second day when I lost 30 minutes, so, yeah, we needed to play it a bit smarter.”
Former MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci rejoined with a penalty of more than 11 hours after over night repair work to his KTM.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Jan 4 (Reuters) – Spaniard Carlos Sainz won the third stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday with his Audi group celebrating a first for an electric hybrid automobile.
The Spaniard, a triple Dakar champion, took his 40th career phase win when he finished 38 seconds ahead of Toyotas South African Henk Lategan over the 255km timed phase around Al Qaisumah.
The Audi RS Q e-tron model has 3 electrical motors and a petrol engine to charge the batteries during the longer stages of the two-week endurance occasion.

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