Carlos Sainz Cenamor: Premio Princesa de Asturias 2020


Carlos Sainz Cenamor: Princess of Asturias Award 2020

At 58 years of age, the double World Rally Champion, Carlos Sainz Cenamor, has recently been awarded the title of Best WRC Driver and he has just been awarded the very important Princess of Asturias Award 2020 And no wonder!

On May 4, both the fans and a specific panel of 6 expert journalists in this motorsport modality agreed -in a tacit agreement- that Carlos Sainz Senior is deserving of the title he is credited with: the WRC driver with the best track record and today it has been made public that he will also be awarded the Princess of Asturias 2020 Award

For this they have taken into consideration, in addition to titles and victories, other important aspects such as mechanical capacity, speed, courage, and impeccable technique... all factors that go beyond the objective, and that Carlos Sainz has undoubtedly demonstrated throughout his career as a pilot, and also in his more personal facets, as a husband and proud father of three children.

Carlos Sainz Cenamor: El mejor piloto español de Rally en la historia.

Thus, having obtained 57.28% of the total votes in the survey launched on April 3 of this year by the promoters of the World Rally Championship (a competition organized by the International Automobile Federation that has been held annually since 1973) , the driver from Madrid obtains the victory in the category as the best driver in the history of the WRC, defeating the next best, the Frenchman Sébastien Loeb.

“I couldn't be happier and prouder of this recognition”, said Sainz in statements on the competition's website. “Thank you very much for bringing me to the final first and, of course, secondly, for allowing me to win this recognition against Sébastien Loeb”… “I don't need to tell you how much I value Sébastien Loeb and how much he deserves to be the greatest. But I have to say that not only him, all world champions deserve this recognition. But someone has to win and, in this case, it was myself”, continued the pilot.

WRC Promoter Oliver Ciesla congratulated Carlos for adding this to his many achievements: "He was already a WRC legend thanks to his incredible skills driving on the most brutally hard and unforgiving terrain on the planet. This award confirms the esteem held by both fans and experts alike. He is known as King Carlos – now he is officially the King of the WRC!” commented Ciesla, who added to his repertoire of commentary that “Sébastien (Loeb) is statistically the most successful driver in WRC history. But we wanted the fans to think beyond the numbers to choose their best driver."

Carlos Sainz Cenamor: El mejor piloto español de Rally en la historia.


The MUSA Claudio Coello clinic in Madrid received the fourth and last brother of the Sainz Cenamor family on April 12, 1962. From a very young age he began in sports, starting with skiing at the age of 7, when he also received tennis and soccer lessons. He also participated in other sports such as squash (for which he won a national title and two runners-up), athletics and boxing.

His first contact with cars came at the age of 11, when he tried to drive a SEAT 600 with his older sister, Carmen, who had bought it then. Later, he had close contact with Juan Carlos Oñoro, who was an official driver for Chrysler, and who would later become his brother-in-law. From then on, he also entered the motor world with his brother Toño, with whom he would go out close to home to try skids and maneuvers, which would make him fall in love with the sport forever.

At the age of 18, he set himself the goal of participating in the Shalymar Rally together with Juanjo Lacalle in December 1980, which would then be the great step in introducing him to the world of rallying.

Carlos Sainz Cenamor: El mejor piloto español de Rally en la historia.

In 1981, the Ascent to the Chair of Felipe II was held, the recently launched Seat Panda National Cup and the Renault Initiation Cup. That year Carlos Sainz would become fully interested in circuits, but it was in 1982 when he became an official driver in this type of competition, the year in which he traveled invited by Seat to the Isola 2000 ski resort to compete. It was then decided that Carlos would drive from then on, and Juanjo would be in charge of co-driving.

His performances with the Panda that year would earn them national fame, and also the competition drive that would make him shine in his performances from that point on. Already by the year 1983, Renault trusted Sainz and his abilities, counting on his participation for the Renault National Cup.

Year after year the public arena saw Carlos Sainz grow, full of impeccable skills as the main driver, who surpassed himself with each competition in which he participated and excelled.

Nicknamed 'Matador', Carlos was world champion in 1990 and in 1992 (both times with Toyota), he was runner-up in 1991 (Toyota), 1994 (Subaru), 1995 (Subaru) and 1998 (Toyota) , and also held third place 5 times in 1996, 1997, 2000 and 2002 (Ford), and then once more in 2003 (Citroen).

Carlos Sainz Cenamor: El mejor piloto español de Rally en la historia.

The driver from Madrid was one of the most consistent in the WRC. He competed in 196 tests throughout his career, of which he obtained 26 victories and added 97 podiums.

Sainz continued to be closely linked to the world of motorsports, being an adviser to the Royal Spanish Automobile Federation, and also as a raid driver in the official Volkswagen team.

After his participation in the WRC, he began to compete in Dakar, a competition in which he stood out from his competition, and in which he obtained first position in the years 2010, 2018, and 2020.

In his most didactic facet, Carlos Sainz has arranged to help a significant number of young pilots in their respective sports careers, including Dani Sordo and Jan Solans. In addition, he collaborated with the Peugeot España Racing Team, joined Ford in training projects for young pilots, and even came to advise the Guadarrama XII Armored Brigade of the Spanish Army (2014) on issues associated with maneuvers and movements in desert areas.

His son, Formula 1 racer Carlos Sainz Jr., celebrated his father's birthday last April with an emotional letter published by the official online platform of the F1 World Championship in which he expresses infinite admiration, pride and gratitude towards Carlos Sainz Sr., added to the most authentic anecdotes of those who have seen him climb, succeed and work very hard to achieve his dreams all his life.

Carlos Sainz Cenamor has been the only Spanish driver to be proclaimed World Rally Champion. His talent, daily preparation, exceptional technique and drive have led him to build a very successful striker in this and in all its facets in the world of motorsports that continue to this day, earning him the admiration of experts and his fans.

Carlos Sainz Cenamor: El mejor piloto español de Rally en la historia.