Carlos Sainz and partner Lucas Cruz were aiming to improve on their Dakar Rally campaign last year, which saw them finish outside the top 10 having only ended each stage in the top three five times.
Well, after going into the fourth day in second place this time around, the pair’s start to 2017 looked promising.
That was until they were involved in a jaw dropping incident nearing the end of the route in Bolivia on Thursday.
Two-time world rally champion Sainz failed to control his Peugeot 2008 DKR when colliding with a bank as they went round a corner.
The pair’s car was filmed rolling down a small hill, narrowly missing spectators before landing on its back in a cloud of dust.
Luckily, Sainz and his co-driver escaped major injuries, but damages to the car were so severe that he won’t be participating in the competition anymore.
Amazingly, The Spaniard did manage to finish the stage, but lost over two hours after waiting for assistance following the incident and ultimately lost out to Cyril Despres.
Sainz joins Nasser al-Attiyah in the notable names who have retired from the Dakar this year.
The two-time winner withdrew after his Toyota fell into a hole causing one of the rear wheels to completely tear off. The accident delayed him from racing for over two hours and like the 54-year-old, dampened his chances of winning.
It’s not all bad news for the Sainz, though, as his team-mate Sebastien Loeb is still in with a shout of winning the overall tournament after claiming victory in the second stage.
This year’s rally, of which started on Monday in Paraguay, will end next Saturday in Buenos Aires after travelling through Bolivia and Argentina beforehand.News Now - Sport News