Carlos Sainz Cenamor, Madrid, Spain. Could be the start of a good biography, but I hate to think this it when there is still plenty of history to write. And that is the case of one of the Spanish pilots more successful. Carlos Sainz still has a rope for a while, and even though it is 54 years old, keeps the illusion intact. Perhaps that is its greatest merit, compete always with the enthusiasm of the younger riders, but do so in addition to providing the experience that has been delivering over the years. Go ahead… Congratulations Carlos!
however, Carlos Sainz has over 35 years of racing, almost without a break. His first steps were with a Renault 5 that had bought his father and which was premiered just after the age of 18, but it was before. Since its debut in the Rally Shalymar, Sainz left no one indifferent, to such an extent that in his first test against pilots Seat, got the favour of the brand and compete with Panda official of the Group 2. Already by then a such Antonio Zanini, myth for the sections of the spaniards, referred to him with these words: “There is a lad who runs with a Panda that we are going to check out all“.
His progression was a step-by-step, but in 1985 he was playing in the Championship of Spain of Rallies and what is more important, winning after winning the Rally Vasco Navarro. Two victories in the rallies of the canaries ended consolidarle within the championship. Already focused on the rallies and after a 1986 that served as a farewell to the Renault R5 Maxi Turbo, came the first successes of weight of Carlos Sainz. With the Renault 11 Turbo was proclaimed Champion of Spain of Rallies in 1987, the same year in which he made his debut in the WRC. A year after repeated title.
1989 it was without a doubt the year of hatching of Carlos Sainz in the WRC, something understandable when the team official Toyota had set its eye on the Spanish. He got his first podium in the Rally of Finland this year and also climbed the podium in Italy and Great Britain. An accelerated learning which he served to to win the WRC in 1990, becoming the first Spanish rider to win the World Rally and a championship as much prestige at the international level. This season, added four victories, the first in the very tough Acropolis Rally.
With Toyota added its second title in 1992 after not being able to with Juha Kankkunen a year before. It would be his last scepter fifa world cup, but subsequently rose again to triumph on two times with Subaru and in the bitter 1998, a season known by all: “ come on, start it up Carlos!“. A strangled cry of his co-driver Luis Moya, and that meant following a failure to lose the third title in the absence of 500 meters to the end of the Rally of Wales. A turning point psychological, however, not prevented him from to continue adding podiums and victories in the WRC until 2005, the year of their last involvement with Citroën.
After leaving the WRC with 44 years, Carlos Sainz was all in favor to retire to a life more placid, linked to the world of the engine but without the ‘huge’ of the own competition. However, the one who is addicted to this passion you can’t leave it just like that and since 2006, the legendary Carlos Sainz made his way in the Dakar. At the wheel of the Touareg, won the test in 2010 as an official driver for Volkswagen Motorsport, something that now try to repeat with Peugeot. Only time will tell if you can get it, but so far the record of spaniard Carlos Sainz is worthy of admiration.
Palmares of Carlos Sainz in his 54 birthday
- Champion of Spain of Rallies (1987, 1988)
- Champion of the Asia-Pacific Rally (1990)
- World Rally Champion (1990, 1992)
- Race of Champions (1997)
- Champion of the Rally World Cup Cross-Country (2007)
- Champion of the Dakar (2010)
- 26 wins rally in the World Championship of Rallies (1990-2004)
- 29 stage victories in the Dakar Rally (2006-2016)