Carlos Sainz won the Dakar Rally in South America for the first time on Saturday, resisting a late challenge from Volkswagen team-mate, Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Entering the final 335 kilometre stage from Santa Rosa to Buenos Aires with an advantage of over two and a half minutes over Al-Attiyah, Sainz was not allowed to relax as Al-Attiyah made a final attempt to overcome the difference, recording his best time of 1 hour 19minutes and 42 seconds.

Sainz won the 2010 championship by a small difference of 2 minutes and 12 seconds over his rival. Feeling happy, he said that he had planned to win the Dakar rally after winning the World Championship. He said he was thankful to the team, the sponsors, his friends and people who always trusted him and that he was proud to win the title for Spain.

In the motorcycle rally, however, a six hour penalty on the Spanish rider, Marc Coma, led to winning of French Cyril Despres who retained the title for the third time.