Broken shoulder blade for Perin
In the moments following Carlos Sainz's and co-driver Michel Périn's roll earlier today, further accidents were prevented thanks to the former World Rally champion.
While Périn was sitting on the ground a few metres away from their
topsided VW Touareg, clenching his teeth at the pain of a broken shoulder blade, Sainz had climbed back to the top of the sand dune with his helmet still on, screaming for the other cars to stop.
Leonid Novitskiy's BMW and Nani Roma's Lancer quickly appeared at high speed - thanks to Sainz's warnings, both narrowly avoided tumbling down the peak. The Russian rapidly steered to the left, while the Spaniard stopped his car only centimetres from the crumbling cliff edge.
As we was being cared for on site by medical staff, Périn was furious: "They're crazy for not having warned about this in the road book! This isn't normal!"
Sainz was keeping quiet and walking around, but showed visible signs of worry for his co-driver. To a French television crew, the few words he pronounced carried much weight: "If it had not been us, it would have been the BMW or Nani instead."
Over the last week, complaints have been heard in the bivouac regarding the organisation of this maiden South America-based Dakar Rally. Today's event, which caused injuries and ended the chances of the rally leader, will surely bring about further reactions.