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Dakar Rally 2020 – Carlos Sainz wins the Dakar for the third time and presents MINI with its fifth overall victory

Pressemeddelelse   •   Jan 18, 2020 17:15 CET

Dakar Rally, Saudi Arabia, MINI JCW Buggy, Carlos Sainz

Munich. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Quotes from the 2020 Dakar Rally:

Carlos Sainz

“I am very, very happy. So much hard work, physical training and test work with the team has gone into getting this result. The race was fantastic for us drivers, but you had to work very hard, right from day one. It is hard to imagine, but it was a full-throttle rally from the word go. Right now, I just want to enjoy the success.”

Stéphane Peterhansel

“That was a bit of an odd Dakar for me. We decided at the last minute to change co-drivers, and then went straight into the race with Paulo Fiuza. I am happy with the result. We finished third, which was more than we would have expected at the start. The guys out in front were very quick and did not make any mistakes with the navigation. We did as well as we could have done.”

Bernd Körber – Head of MINI

“On behalf of the entire MINI family, I would like to congratulate Carlos Sainz, Lucas Cruz and the X-raid team on winning the 2020 Dakar Rally. At the same time, I also congratulate Stéphane Peterhansel and Paulo Fiuza on their podium finish. Unfortunately, this success is overshadowed by the tragic accidents involving Paulo Gonçalves and Edwin Straver, which have affected us all deeply. We wish the relatives every strength and Edwin Straver all the best for his recovery. Our drivers and the X-raid team performed superbly in Saudi Arabia, which was hosting the rally for the first time, and they were rewarded for the hard work they put in during preparations for the event. The MINI John Cooper Works Buggy proved to be fast and reliable on the very demanding and unfamiliar terrain. The fifth overall victory for MINI at the Dakar, and the first since 2015, is a very special moment for us all.”

Sven Quandt – CEO X-raid

“We are absolutely overwhelmed by this superb team result. We did not expect to finish first and third. It has been a fantastic race, with many battles for the lead. Carlos and Stéphane did an outstanding job. The performance of our MINI JCW fleet was absolutely top-notch. We are delighted to have finally won another Dakar with our MINIs after so many years of trying. To have four MINIs in the top ten and seven in the top 20 shows how reliable we are. Thank you to our staff and to everyone who has believed in us and supported us – particularly MINI and our partners.”

For more information on the Dakar 2020, visit the organiser’s homepage here.

2020 Dakar Rally: Final results of MINI competitors

Pos Driver Co-Driver # MINI Team Time
1. Carlos Sainz
Lucas Cruz
305 MINI JCW Buggy Bahrain JCW X‑raid Team 42:59:17
3. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) Paulo Fiuza
302 MINI JCW Buggy Bahrain JCW X‑raid Team +0:09:58
6. Orlando Terranova (ARG) Bernardo Graue
311 MINI JCW Rally X-raid MINI JCW Team +1:12:15
9. Yasir Seaidan
Alexey Kuzmich
324 MINI JCW Rally Race World Team +3:42:17
14. Aleksandr
Dorosinsky (RUS)
Oleg Uperenko
355 MINI ALL4 Racing X-raid MINI JCW Team +5:07:06
17. Denis Krotov
Dmitry Tsyro
323 MINI JCW Rally MSK Rally Team +7:38:01
19. Jakub Przygonski
Timo Gottschalk
303 MINI JCW Rally Orlen X-raid Team +8:35:18
tbc Vaidotas Zala
Saulius Jurgelenas (LTU) 319 MINI JCW Rally Agrorodeo tbc
DNF Vladimir Vasilyev
Vitaly Yevtyekhov (UKR) 317 MINI JCW Rally X-raid G-Energy

BMW Group

Med de fire mærker BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce og BMW Motorrad, er BMW Group verdens førende premium producent af biler og motorcykler, som også tilbyder finansielle ydelser og mobilitetsservice. BMW Group har 31 produktionsanlæg i 15 lande samt forhandlernetværk i 140 lande.

I 2019 solgte BMW Group 2.520.000 biler og 175.000 motorcykler på verdensplan. Omsætningen i 2018 var 97,480 mia. euro og overskuddet før skat var 9,815 mia. euro. Koncernen havde per 31. december 2018 en global arbejdsstyrke på 134.682 medarbejdere.

Grundlaget for BMW Groups succes har altid været ansvarsbevidsthed og langsigtede løsninger. Derfor er miljømæssig og social bæredygtighed i hele værdikæden, omfattende produktansvar og et klart fokus på ressourcebevarelse, en integreret del af koncernens strategi.