The Spaniard, who held the WRC title in 1990 and 1992, and more recently assisted Volkswagen with the development of its new Polo R WRC, won Saturday’s opening Dakar test at the wheel of his Qatar-Red Bull team V8-engined buggy.
However his victory on Sunday’s second stage, a 242km loop from Pisco wasn’t confirmed until Monday, when organisers credited Sainz with the 21 minutes he had lost on stage because of a fault with the rally’s satellite navigation system.
"What we experienced in yesterday's stage was very strange,” Sainz explained. “We spend three or four times trying to pass a waypoint before we could move on. We were going up, down and round and round because we knew we were in the right place.
“Finally we decided to go ahead with the stage because we could not find that control point. It was a risky decision because it can cost you significant time penalty. The waypoint later registered about three miles from the location.”
Sunday’s stage win was the 26th of Sainz’s Dakar career and pulls him level with the Dakar stage winning record held by Frenchman Stephane Pertehansel.
Stage three, a 243km section from Pisco to Nazca, gets underway on Monday at 10:11hrs local time.