Biography of Carlos Sainz “El Matador”

The beginning of 2022 will mark the beginning of a new edition of the Dakar Rally, which will run from January 1 to January 14.

The most challenging race in all of the motorsport will once again feature Carlos Sainz, who has already been crowned winner in the desert on three separate occasions and who will take a chance with Audi in a hybrid car.

Sainz has already been proclaimed winner in the desert on multiple occasions.

Biography of Carlos Sainz "El Matador"

However, El Matador has had a very long career that continues even though he is at an age when most people would have already hung up their helmets.

Throughout his career, El Matador has provided moments that have gone down in history. In recognition of all that he has done for Spanish motorsport, we at Motorbli are going to take a look back at his sporting career and some aspects of his life that are not as well known.

A detailed account of Carlos Sainz Sr life

Following this introduction that places what Sainz stands for into context, it is time to get down to business and delve into his beginnings, accomplishments, and some details that define him.


On April 14, 1962, Carlos Sainz was born in Madrid, Spain, into a wealthy family because his father, Antonio Sainz Rebollo, was an honorary consul of Bolivia.

He has three older sisters and an older brother named Carmen, Elena, Antonio, and himself. He is the youngest of the four.

Even though this information is not widely known, when he was a teenager, he was twice crowned the Squash Champion of Spain.

His beginnings in motor racing did not begin as early as those of other drivers; however, his brother was the one who encouraged him to take that path, thanks to the fact that he was already linked to this world.

His beginnings in motor racing were not as early as those of other drivers. It was a journey that started when he was just 18 years old, and his father gave him a Renault R5 with which he intended to compete.

This was the beginning of an adventure. At the beginning of his career in auto racing, his excellent friend Juanjo Lacalle, who was also instrumental in convincing him to pursue a career in the sport, would serve as his co-driver.

The first rally was the Shalymar Rally, held in his hometown of Madrid in December of 1980.

On the other hand, given that he was in law school and that Lacalle was working as the marketing director for a hotel chain, the resources and time they had available to devote to preparation were limited.

They installed in his vehicle some used components, including roll bars, seat belts, shock absorbers, and brakes.

To acquire some references for the sections they were going to find, they used the notes that his friend Juan Carlos Osorio had taken during his previous participation.

These notes had been taken during previous events.

Because this was Sainz’s first time competing in the event, Lacalle was taken aback by the fact that they managed to cross the finish line in 23rd place without any unfortunate incidents.

The following year, they participated in the Subida a la Silla de Felipe II, which also took place in the Autonomous Community of Madrid.

They finished in fifth place, piqued the media’s interest, and surprised Carlos and his brother Antonio, who ended up coming in second.

The Seat Panda Cup was the next objective that they set for themselves. Since they were still dealing with the same financial issue, they decided to sign up for the bare minimum number of required competitions and that their budget would allow them to compete in four.

Unbelievably, they were victorious in all of them, and the final one, which took place in Shalymar, earned them double points, which ensured that they prevailed in the competition.

This success earned them the trust of the Spanish racing team Meycom, with whom they made an annual program to attend the various competitions and finance them using the prizes they won.

Together, they achieved the success that earned them the trust of the Spanish racing team Meycom.

Sainz found the circuits to be an additional motivating factor, so he made reservations for the Renault that his father had given him to compete in the Renault Initiation Cup.

This competition consisted of three tests, and our protagonist took part in two of them held in Spain: Calafat (Tarragona) and Jarama (Madrid).

He came in second place overall but did win the first one.

After winning a competition against other drivers at the Isola 2000 ski resort in 1982, he officially became a member of the Seat team. He continued to compete against those drivers throughout that year.

He competed in the Renault Initiation Cup without using his money. He won the championship by racking up five victories out of seven.

This earned him the French brand’s trust to compete in rallies, in addition to the National Cup, with a 200 horsepower R5 Turbo that led him to victory in the Castilla Championship, specifically ahead of his brother.

However, the season did not have the best ending because his co-driver Juanjo Lacalle decided to retire from competition after the accident they suffered in Shalymar due to a rollover.

This caused the accident to hurt the season.

Despite this, he finished second in the Rallysprint organized by the Spanish Federation and first in the Renault National held on the tracks.

Their most recent achievement qualified him to participate in the Formula Ford Festival as a representative of Spain, where he drove his single-seater to the competition’s quarterfinals.

Another point to consider is that he finished fifth in the two hours of Jarama, which was the culminating event for the diamond brand.

He repeated the program with it in 1984 to regain his title in the Castilian Championship, finishing fifth in the RACE Rally, compete in the Luis de Bavaria and Galleries Criterium, make his debut with Opel, and finish second in the Rally of Catalonia thanks to General Motors because of his strong performance in the first of these, and win the Valeo Rally with Renault.

Thanks to Ford with Formula 2000, who had supported him to race in national circuits, along with sponsors of the stature of the tobacco brand Marlboro and the ABC newspaper, he opened up new frontiers overseas.

Championship of Rallying in Spain

In 1985, he made his debut as an official driver in the Spanish Rally Championship, thanks to Renault.

With Renault, he tasted several victories until achieving the runner-up position, only being beaten by Salvador Serviá on that course and the following.

Renault was responsible for his debut. Because of the dedication that his commitment to the French company required of him, he was only able to compete in the 500 kilometers of Jarama, a race that he ultimately had to give up because of a mechanical issue.

He was unable to compete in any other asphalt events.

Arrival in the World Racing Championship

In 1987, following the prohibition of the B vehicles and the offer to compete in the world championship of the specialty event known as the World Rally Car, he signed a contract to drive for Ford.

The second round of the world championship in Portugal was where Sainz had his breakout performance.

His debut was a success as he recorded the fastest time in the first stage of the Estoril circuit; however, he was forced to retire when he was in third place overall due to a broken turbo. His debut was perfect.

After finishing seventh in Corsica during the Rally of France, he was awarded his first points for the competition.

In case that wasn’t enough, he then went on to have a remarkable comeback in the Spanish Championship, where he won seven matches and took the title for the first time in his career after having endured years of bad luck and emotional anguish.

After Lacalle left the team, Antonio Boto, his co-driver since then, moved on to become his sporting director at Opel.

Luis Moya, who had previously served as Sainz’s most distinguished traveling companion, took his place.

With his new inseparable, he revalidated the national championship the following year and competed in several events for the world championship.

He finished fifth in Corsica for the second year in a row, an improvement over the previous year’s result.

He also finished sixth in Finland, fifth again in San Remo (Italy), and seventh in the Rally of Catalonia, which was the final event of the championship.

Additionally, he competed in the Spanish Gravel Rally Championship, although his results were not particularly noteworthy.

The excellent result that was obtained in the transalpine country, in addition to the leadership that was displayed in the night stages and at the beginning of the tests, caught the attention of Toyota, which ultimately led to him being signed by the company for the following season as an official driver.

Even though they were driving a Toyota Celica in the role of the third car, Sainz and Moya were still able to earn their first podium finishes in Finland, Italy, and Great Britain.

That was merely a warm-up act for their first major accomplishment, winning the world championship in 1990.

As a result of his four victories, he made history by becoming the first Spaniard to ever win it.

The following year, he was unsuccessful in defending his title against Juha Kankkunen, who competed for Lancia.

However, in 1992 he re-signed with Toyota to compete in the championship, even though the bodywork on his Celica had been updated.

His incredible performance in the final sprint to the championship earned him this remarkable accomplishment.

On the other hand, he left Ferrari at the end of that year and joined Lancia, a team for which he would only compete once, in 1993, and finish in eighth place.

The year after that, he signed with Subaru, and during his time there, he finished second twice (1994 and 1995).

In 1996 and 1997, he became a driver for Ford to contend for the championship until the very end alongside Tommi Makinen and Colin McRae.

It is a common misconception that second acts are inferior to the first, but despite this, he went back to Toyota in 1998.

It was a cruel end that prevented him from winning his third title, as his Corolla broke down just 500 meters from the finish line in the rally of Great Britain, and Luis Moya yelled at him to “try to start it Carlos.”

This moment went down in sports annals as one of the most iconic moments in the annals of sports.

In 1999, he made the decision to go back to Ford because the Japanese manufacturer preferred to concentrate its efforts on Formula 1.

He continued to be competitive with his Focus, but he did not come anywhere close to winning a championship three times in a row.

After all of that, Sainz and Moya decided to go their separate ways in the year 2002.

Sainz’s last rally team was Citroen, with whom he agreed to reduce his salary significantly.

There, he was joined by Marc Mart, who had previously served as the co-driver for another driver competing in the World Rally Championship named Chus Puras.

He went back to winning dates and set the record with 25 wins.

He came to the lead with two dates left to go, but bad luck once again prevented him from achieving glory by placing him seventh in Catalonia and abandoning him in Britain.

Petter Solberg was able to capitalize on this situation and win the championship.

The Dakar region

After competing in his final rally at the end of 2004, he decided to pursue other opportunities rather than continuing his career in rallying and making occasional appearances at the request of Citroen.

He even ran for the presidency of Real Madrid in 2006 when elections were held.

However, in the same year, he made his debut in the Dakar Rally, which was still being run in Africa, with Volkswagen in a Touareg.

This was his first time competing in the event. He finished the race in eleventh place overall but won four stages.

His performance was much better in the competition that followed in 2007, when he won five races and finished in ninth place, despite having to deal with some mechanical issues.

In 2009, when he was already in South America, it was an accident when falling down a four-meter-high ravine that deprived him of glory three days from the end, even though he had won six of the first ten appointments.

However, in 2010, neither of those ghosts could help him, and he was finally able to sing victory. He was also the first Spaniard to do it in cars.

Something that he would do again in Saudi Arabia in 2018 with Peugeot and then again in 2020 with Mini.

This most recent victory occurred when he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports, and WRC fans chose him to be the best driver in the sport’s history.

At 59, he will debut with Audi in 2022, driving an RS Q e-Tron hybrid.

His goal is to continue extending the legend he has created—this is a common misconception.

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