Carlos Sainz lamented his bad luck in the form of misfortunes in stage 3 of the Dakar rally that have left him practically without options to opt for his fourth Tuareg. The Madrid rider suffered two breakdowns that kept him stopped for around an hour, between one and the other, and that made him finish 44th and lose the lead, now in the hands of his close rival Nasser al Attiyah, 13th on the stage .
The technical problems began with a broken ball joint on the left rear suspension, as explained by the man from Madrid, when the special was running at kilometer 213 of the 447 total. At that time, Sainz, in attack mode, cut Al-Attiyah (Toyota) by about 7 minutes.
The driver from Madrid and his Catalan co-driver Lucas Cruz rushed to repair the fault, but were detained for around 40 minutes in that first mishap.
"Today's stage was a shame. A suspension ball joint broke without touching anywhere and we had to change it taking longer than necessary," admitted Sainz.
When they repaired the fault and resumed the route, after cutting the Qatari by 5 minutes at kilometer 288, the two Spaniards suffered another setback that forced them to stop again.
"Then we suffered a couple of punctures and in one of them a nut did not come out and the wheel wrench broke down; we had to wait for Mattias (Ekström) to arrive", his teammate Audi Sport, as explained by the 60 year old veteran pilot.
Although he is now 33 minutes off Al Attiyah's lead, Sainz, eighth overall, is not throwing in the towel and expressed confidence that he will be able to climb up to the top for a chance at final victory.
"Everything that shouldn't have gone wrong has gone wrong, but well, there's still a long way to go and of course we're going to keep attacking and push forward. Now there's only one strategy": attack.