Carlos Sainz was the first to end the new stage, new winner cycle at Dakar 2020 after a stellar performance from Al-‘Ula to Ha’il. The Spanish rally veteran took his Mini through the sandy terrain at altitudes of 1 500 metres and strengthened his lead over Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel after stage 5.

At one point, Al-Attiyah managed to nudge ahead of Sainz, but a slow puncture over the closing 50 km resulted in him losing enough time for Sainz to recover. Giniel de Villiers closed the stage in sixth place, behind by 11 minutes and 46 seconds, leaving him seventh in the overall standings.

Fernando Alonso struggled to close the gap despite his last few impressive stages. He ended the day in seventh (just 34 seconds behind De Villiers) after suffering two punctures. Bernhard ten Brinke delivered an impressive performance in the opening part of the stage but towards the end lost 20 minutes and 14 seconds after struggling to find a waypoint. He retained eighth position.

Yazeed Al Rajhi of the Overdrive Toyota team remained in fourth spot but nearly 32 minutes separate him from overall leader Sainz.

Stage 5 results:

1. Sainz (Mini)
2. Al-Attiyah (Toyota): +02:56
3. Peterhansel (Mini): +06:11
4. Al Rajhi (Toyota): +08:29
5. Terranova (Mini): +08:52
6. De Villiers (Toyota): +11:46
7. Alonso (Toyota): +12:23
8. Seaidan (Mini): +12:39
9. Przygonski (Mini): +12:47
10. Serradori (SRT): +17:49

Overall standings:

1. Sainz (Mini)
2. A-Attiyah (Toyota): +05:59
3. Peterhansel (Mini): +17:53
4. Al Rajhi (Toyota): +31:39
5. Terranova (Mini): +32:05
6. Serradori (SRT): +44:44
7. De Villiers (Toyota): +46:26
8. Ten Brinke (Toyota): +10:04:54
9. Seaidan (Mini): +01:43:04
10. Vanagas (Toyota): +02:08:09  

Original article from Car