A roll takes out the leader...
As the Dakar Rally resumed following yesterday's cancelled stage, rally leader Carlos Sainz took to the routes of Argentina with a 27-minute lead on his nearest rival, Volkswagen teammate Mark Miller.
About 80 kilometres into today's
Fiambala-La Rioja stage, Sainz's Race Touareg went through a heavy roll and landed on its roof, with the impact causing a shoulder injury to co-driver Michel Périn. Both men were airlifted back to the Fiambola bivouac, where Périn received medical care.
The race organisers have confirmed the rally-leading Sainz and Périn have now retired from the event, thereby putting an end to their maiden Dakar victory hopes.
A French television crew was on the scene as the accident happened. It appears the VW crew was caught out when it unexpectedly reached the peak of a high dune, falling over a dozen metres down the slope.
The images show Sainz a short distance away, obviously feeling very emotional while Périn is seen laying on his back waiting for medical assistance.
Carlos Sainz now sees victory slip through his fingers as if it were Argentinian sand...
Following the exclusion of Nasser Al Attiyah's BMW last week, Sainz had taken the lead of the Dakar Rally, winning six out of the ten stages completed so far.
American driver Mark Miller now stands as the new rally leader at the controls of a sister Volkswagen Race Touareg.