Dakar Rally 2018: CS Santosh finishes career-best 35th, Carlos Sainz wins car section
CS Santosh finished in 35th position at the Dakar Rally, his best-ever performance as the Hero MotoSports team had both riders finishing the rally only for the second year in the competition.other sports Updated: Jan 21, 2018 17:58 IST
The struggle in dust and dunes is over and it’s time to fete the Dakar Rally 2018 champions. After the 14th stage in the Argentine city, a few old names did justice to their reputations while some newcomers surprised all.
In the car section, Team Peugeot Total’s Carlos Sainz, a two-time world rally championship winner, and co-driver Lucas Cruz maintained their top position with ease and won the title.
“We have put a lot of effort into this car, I think I deserved this victory,” Sainz said after winning his second Dakar title. “I had ups and downs, but I always tried my best. Especially this rally, it has been so, so hard.”
Santosh’s best-ever finish
India’s CS Santosh, representing Hero MotoSports, finished 35th overall – his best-ever result in four Dakar’s so far. He finished 36th in the 2015 edition. Santosh’s teammate Oriol Mena, a debutant in Dakar, finished seventh overall. He also won the ‘Best Rookie Rider’ title.
Santosh, who at one point was among the top 20 in the initial stages, survived a crash and a loose fuel cap to finish the Dakar for the third time.
“It was a tough Dakar this year for sure, every day you had to bow down to the stages. I had lots of ups and downs, some high points in the beginning, and then some lows as well,” he said.
“I think it was everything that you would envision a Dakar to be. I am happy to make it to the finish line of yet another Dakar. My best Dakar so far so I am really happy to be going home with that.”
The overall champion in the bike section was Red Bull KTM Factory’s Matthias Walkner, who finished runners up last year.
In the truck section, Team Kamaz-Master’s Eduard Nikolaev, Evgeny Yakovlev and Vladimir Rybakov won the title comfortably. In quads, there were no changes in position in the last day as Ignacio Casale clinched the category.
In SxS category, Brazilian’s Reinaldo and Gustavo Gugelmin were the winners.