Sainz tells medical helicopter to turn back after Dakar Rally crash

Sports Desk, Jan 10 (EFE).- Seasoned rally driver Carlos Sainz crashed his off-road Audi in the Dakar Rally on Tuesday and was being airlifted to hospital after complaining of pain in his torso only for him to ask the medical helicopter to turn around and bring him back to the race, the organization said.

The medical helicopter was en route to Riyadh, the starting line in the 9th stage of the event hosted in Saudi Arabia since 2020, where Sainz, 60, was due to undergo medical checks.

“The Spanish driver, who lost control of his Audi after 6 km and was awaiting his assistance team to try and resume the special, has finally thrown in the towel, still suffering from pain in the right side of his torso,” the Dakar Rally said in a statement.

“He has been airlifted to hospital in Riyadh to undergo further medical check-ups.”

Just under 20 minutes later, however, the organization had an update.

“There is a new episode in the Carlos Sainz saga on stage 9: the Spaniard wanted a chance of resuming the race and requested that the medical helicopter taking him to hospital turn around to take him back to his car,” it said.

“He has re-joined Lucas Cruz and is awaiting their assistance vehicle. Unless he changes his mind again…”

The three-time Dakar Rally champion, who is the father of Formula One driver Carlos Sainz Jr., was racing an Audi RS Q e-tron with co-driver Cruz when they flipped the vehicle on a dune.

After dominant displays in the first two stages of the race from Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast to the Persian Gulf, Sainz and Cruz fell away in the general classifications. EFE


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