Sainz and Lopez win Dakar Rally opener in Peru
January 5, 2013 -- Updated 2121 GMT (0521 HKT)
Carlos Sainz of Spain claimed the first special stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally in Peru.
- Carlos Sainz fastest car on opening stage of Dakar Rally in Peru
- Former world rally champion completes 13km in seven minutes 40 seconds
- Chile's Francisco Lopez wins motorcycling stage
- Annual race will take in 8,000km and three countreis in Latin America
(CNN) -- Former two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz showed his pedigree by claiming the first special stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally in Peru Saturday,.
Driving for team Buggy, the Spaniard completed the 13km leg from Peru's capital Lima in seven minutes 40 seconds.
He had an eight-second advantage over Argentina's Lucio Alvarez, in a Toyota, with French driver Guerlain Chicherit, in an SMG, taking third.
Sainz, who won the grueling endurance event in 2010, saw his team Qatari teammate, Nasser al-Attiyah, who was the 2011 champion, take fourth.
Read: Triple amputee takes on motorsport's most dangerous race
Reigning title holder, Stephane Peterhansel of France, driving a Mini, took eighth place in the short sprint section, but was already one minute and 42 seconds adrift of the 50-year-old Sainz.
Peterhansel claimed a remarkable 10th Dakar crown in last year's race, four in the cars and six in the motorcycle section.
American NASCAR champion Robby Gordon made a disastrous start in his Hummer, coming to a halt on course and despite eventually restarting came in over 10 minutes down.
Read: Peterhansel and Despres seal 2012 edition
Chile's Francisco Lopez, riding a KTM, took the honors in the motorcycle section with a clocking of seven minutes 51 seconds.
He edged out Dutchman Frans Verhoeven on a Yamaha by a single second with Pablo Quintanilla of Chile third for Honda at five seconds.
Last year's winner, Cyril Despres of France, who is bidding for a fifth Dakar crown, finished fifth on his KTM, 13 seconds back.
The field of cars, motorcycles, quad bikes and trucks will be negotiating over 8,000 kilometers across Peru, Argentina and Chile before the finish on January 20 in Santiago.
It is the fifth time the rally has taken place in South America, having formerly finished in the Senegalese capital of Dakar.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.