On Thursday, During the Dakar Rally’s 12th stage grueling event; Spain's two-time rally world champion Carlos Sainz crashed.

Rally organizers said that Sainz and his French co-pilot Michel Perin had arrived by a rescue helicopter at the bivouac in Fiambala t about 3.30pm SAST

Perin needed treatment for a shoulder problem while Sainz is not believed to have been seriously injured during the accident at the 79km mark of the 253km stage from Fiambala to La Rioja. Sainz has abandoned the race after his Volkswagen careened into a ravine.

Sainz had already won six of the 10 stages run so far in this his third Dakar, incuding the last four.

Sainz's withdrawal is the second time during this Dakar that the leader has changed in dramatic circumstances.