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Carlos Sainz Wins the Dakar for the Third Time

305 Sainz Carlos (esp), Cruz Lucas (esp), Mini John Cooper Works Buggy, Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team, Car, action during Stage 6 of the Dakar 2020 between Ha'il and Riyadh, 830 km - SS 478 km, in Saudi Arabia, on January 10, 2020 - Photo DPPI
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Carlos Sainz (ESP) and his co-driver Lucas Cruz (ESP) have won the Rally Dakar for the third time, having previously triumphed in 2010 and 2018. In doing so, they presented MINI with its fifth overall victory at the iconic endurance rally. For MINI and MINI Motorsport partner X-raid, this was the first success since their winning run together, which lasted from 2012 to 2015.

Carlos Sainz Wins the Dakar in KSA
302 Peterhansel Stéphane (fra), Fiuza Paulo (prt), Mini John Cooper Works Buggy, Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team, Auto, Car, action during Stage 3 of the Dakar 2020 between Neom and Neom, 489 km – SS 404 km, in Saudi Arabia, on January 7, 2020 – Photo DPPI
Iconic Endurance Rally

Carlos Sainz (ESP) and his co-driver Lucas Cruz (ESP) have won the Rally Dakar for the third time, having previously triumphed in 2010 and 2018. In doing so, they presented MINI with its fifth overall victory at the iconic endurance rally. For MINI and MINI Motorsport partner X-raid, this was the first success since their winning run together, which lasted from 2012 to 2015. The Spanish pair, in the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy, finished 6:21 minutes ahead of last year’s winner Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) after roughly 7,500 kilometres through Saudi Arabia, which was hosting the Dakar for the first time.

Carlos Sainz Wins the Dakar
Peterhansel Stéphane (fra), Mini John Cooper Works Buggy, Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team, Auto, Car, portrait during Stage 4 of the Dakar 2020 between Neom and Al Ula, 676 km – SS 453 km, in Saudi Arabia, on January 8, 2020 – Photo Frédéric Le Floc’h / DPPI
Impressive Performance

Dakar record winner Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) and his co-driver Paulo Fiuza (POR) finished third, 9:58 minutes behind Sainz and Cruz, to round off an impressive performance from the two MINI JCW Buggies. The two MINI JCW Buggy crews each won four stages, while MINI vehicles went fastest on a total of nine of the twelve days. Vaidotas Zala (LTU) / Saulius Jurgelenas (LTU), in a MINI JCW Rally, won the very first Dakar stage on Arabian soil on the opening day.

Carlos Sainz Wins the Dakar - on the race track

Seven of the nine MINI crews that started the rally reached the finish in Al-Quiddia (KSA), four of them in the top ten. Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (ARG) finished in the top three on three days on their way to sixth place overall in the four-wheel drive MINI JCW Rally. Local favourite Yasir Seaidan (KSA) and his co-driver Alexey Kuzmich (RUS) were ninth and finished an excellent second on the closing stage. Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and co-driver Timo Gottschalk (GER) had their hopes of a top result dashed on the opening day when a technical issue resulted in them losing six hours. They eventually finished in 19th place, 8:35.18 seconds off the lead.

Carlos Sainz Wins the Dakar -Preparing to take off

MINI vehicles topped the overall standings after every one of the twelve legs at the 40th staging of the Dakar Rally. Zala and Jurgelenas got the ball rolling with victory on the opening stage, after which Terranova and Graue took the overall lead on day two. Sainz and Cruz claimed their first stage win on the third leg. That victory took them to the top of the overall standings – a position they held right through to the finish.

Carlos Sainz Wins the Dakar - MINI on the race track

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