Click above for high-res gallery of awesome rally shots

After all the trials and tribulations, the first event in the Central Europe Rally took place this past weekend and Carlos Sainz took the overall win behind the wheel of a heavily prepped Volkswagen Touareg 2, while NASCAR driver Robby Gordon's team finished 10th.

The race, which spanned some 1,670 miles across Hungary and Romania, took Sainz and his co-pilot, Michel Perin, 11 hours, 18 minutes and 8 seconds to traverse, followed by the team of Stephane Perhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret driving a Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution, while Dieter Depping and Timo Gotschalk came in third, behind the wheel of another Touareg 2.

Gordon, whose total time was 1 hour, 25 minutes and 38 seconds behind Sainz, completed the race with the help of a HUMMER H2 and Andy Grider at his side. The full race results can be viewed after the jump, and we've assembled a gallery of some seriously awesome shots from the Central Europe Rally below.

  • Spaniard Carlos Sainz and French co-driver Michel Perin in Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 compete during the second stage of the Central European Rally (CER) near Baia Mare, 620km north from Bucharest on April 21, 2008. The Central European Rally of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO DANIEL MIHAILESCU (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Spain's Carlos Sainz of Volkswagen Motorsport competes in the first stage of the Central European Rally (CER) near Tatarszentgyorgy, some 55 km from Budapest on April 20, 2008. The Central European Rally of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO / FERENC ISZA (Photo credit should read FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Spanish rally driver Carlos Sainz and co-pilote Frenchman Michel Perin of Volkswagen Motorsport team compete in the 6B stage of the Central European Rally (CER) near the village of Ocs some 170km west of Budapest on April 25, 2008. The CER of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Spanish driver Carlos Sainz and French co-pilot Michel Perrin aboard their Volkswagen compete during the third stage of the Central European Rally (CER) near Baia Mare city (620km north from Bucharest) on April 22, 2008. The Central European Rally of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO/DANIEL MIHAILESCU (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Spanish driver Carlos Sainz and French co-driver Michel Perin of Volkswagen Motorsport 1 team compete during the 6th stage of the Central European Rally (CER) at a military base near the village of Osku village, 120km west of Budapest on April 25, 2008. The CER of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Winner of the first Central European Rally (CER), Spanish Carlos Sainz of Volkswagen Motorsport 1 and his co-pilote French Michel Perin compete at the military base, near Hajmasker village, about 120km west of Budapest on April 26, 2008. The CER of Dakar series was held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
  • French driver Stephane Peterhansel (Repsol Mittsubishi Ralliart team) and his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret competes during the 5th stage of the Central European Rally (CER) through a military base near the town of Tapolca, about 165 kms west of Budapest, on April 24, 2008. The Central European Rally of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO / FERENC ISZA (Photo credit should read FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Second placed of the first Central European Rally (CER), French driver Stephane Peterhansel of Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team competes with his co-pilote Jean-Paul Cottret at the military base, near Hajmasker village, about 120km west of Budapest on April 26, 2008. French Peterhansel is preceded in overall with two minutes and one second by Spanish Carlos Sainz of Volkswagen Motorsport 1. The CER of Dakar series was held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
  • US Roby Gordon and US co-driver Andy Grider in Hummer H3 compete during the second stage of the Central European Rally (CER) near Baia Mare, 620km north from Bucharest on April 21, 2008. The Central European Rally of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO DANIEL MIHAILESCU (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)
  • US driver Robby Gordon and his co-pilote Andy Grider competes aboard their Hummer of Team Dakar USA through the fields of the military base of Veszprem, about 130 kms to the west of Hungarian capital Budapest on April 23, 2008 during the fourth stage of the Central European Rally (CER). The Central European Rally of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO/ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
  • US driver Robby Gordon and his co-pilote Andy Grider compete aboard their Hummer of Team Dakar USA during the 5th stage of the Central European Rally (CER) on the field of a military base nearby the village of Hajmasker, about 120 kms west of Budapest, on April 24, 2008. The Central European Rally of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
  • U.S. driver Robby Gordon of Team Dakar USA competes during the 6th stage of the Central European Rally (CER) at a military base near the village of Osku village, 120km west of Budapest on April 25, 2008. The CER of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Spanish driver Carlos Sainz (C) of Volkwagen Motorsport 1 and his French co-pilot Michel Perin (L) celebrate their victory next to an unidentified team member on the top of their car, on April 26, 2008 in Balatonfured, about 120km west of Budapest. Sainz won in overall with 2 minutes and one second preceded Stephane Peterhansel of Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team. The CER of Dakar series was held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO/ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Spanish driver Carlos Sainz of Volkwagen Motorsport 1 and his French co-pilot Michel Perin leave the podium aboard their car after celebrating their victory, on April 26, 2008 in Balatonfured, about 120km west of Budapest. Sainz won in overall with 2 minutes and one second preceded Stephane Peterhansel of Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team. The CER of Dakar series was held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO/ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
  • French driver Steph Peterhansel (R) of Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team lifts his trophy as his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret wave on the podium of the first Central European Rally (CER), on April 26, 2008 in Balatonfured, about 120km west of Budapest. Sainz won in overall with 2 minutes and one second preceded Stephane Peterhansel of Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team. The CER of Dakar series was held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. AFP PHOTO/ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images)
  • US driver Robby Gordon (R, Up) and his co-pilote Andy Grider (L, Up) wave from the starting podium of the Central European Rally (CER) at Heroes square in Budapest on April 20, 2008. The CER of Dakar series will be held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)

[Source: Rallysportmag]

Tentative final results, Central Europe Rally

1. Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2, 11h18m08s
2. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (F/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution, + 2.01m
3. Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk (D/D), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2, + 6.34m
4. Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (F/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution, + 7.28m
5. Carlos Sousa/Andreas Schulz (P/D), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2, + 33.45m
6. Bruno Saby/Alain Guehennec (F/F), BMW X3 CC, + 46.30m
7. Robert Baldwin/Kevin Heath (USA/USA), Hummer, + 56.02m
8. Philippe Gache/François Flick (F/F), SMG, + 1h07m08s
9. Miroslav Zapletal/Valdimir Nemajer (CZ/CZ), Mitsubishi L200, + 1h12m19s
10. Robby Gordon/Andy Grider (USA/USA), Hummer, + 1h25m38s

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