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Carlos Sainz wins Dakar Rally 2020 with Mini


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.

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 said: “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.”