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Sainz wins second Dakar - with just a little help from his son!

Carlos Sainz Sr, Peugeot
© XPB 

Double world rally champion Carlos Sainz clinched his second Dakar Rally title in Argentina on Saturday.

Sainz first won the race in 2010 with Volkswagen. This time it was the Peugeot works team's third win in a row - but it will also be its last. The team has already announced it will not take part again in 2019.

The 55-year-old Spanish star and his compatriot co-driver Lucas Cruz held off a threat from Qatar's two-time winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, driving a Toyota.

The winning margin was 43 minutes 40 seconds, despite finishing ninth in the final stage of the world-famous event.

"I think I deserved this victory because we have put a lot of effort into this car," Sainz said. "I had ups and downs, but I always tried my best. Especially this rally. It has been so, so hard.

"Every day things happened and it was very hard," he noted. "Every day there will be a surprise, with traps. You have to be lucky. I have never run a race like this.

"At the beginning I said we'll take it a little bit easier, but Peugeot said we'd have to go flat out. I raced a couple of days and pushed really hard, but then the race was a case of not making mistakes."

Sainz' son, Renault F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr. - whose Formula 1 race number is 55 - congratulated his father on Twitter.

"I am probably the proudest son of his father in the whole world," he posted. "Winner of the toughest Dakar ever done in South America at 55 years of age (good number!) and he did it in his own way. Congrats #matador"

Sainz Sr. revealed that his son had been contributing to the successful campaign behind the scenes.

"I talked to him every day before and after each stage," said the race winner. "I think he has taken revenge on all the advice I have given him during all this time - he has done the same during these last two weeks!"

Sainz has been a regular presence in the Grand Prix paddock, supporting his son's blossoming Formula 1 career.

He said that he and his son had talked over "the tactics of each day - he asked and commented that it was worse or better in each moment."

Sainz has yet to confirm if he will take part again in the future now that Peugeot is bowing out.

"There’ll be time to think about it. Peugeot retires and we’ll see what we do," he said.

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