Reigning champion Carlos Sainz and 13-time winner Stéphane Peterhansel will be behind the wheel of two MINI JCW Buggies at the 2021 Dakar Rally. Here is all you need to know:
– The crews of Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (both ESP) and Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger (both FRA) will line up in two MINI John Cooper Works Buggies at the 2021 Dakar 2021 in Saudi Arabia.
– The 2021 Dakar Rally is a 12 stage extreme offroad race which covers a distance of over 7,500 kilometres in a loop starting and finishing in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. The rally starts on January 3 and concludes on January 15.
– Carlos Sainz took the chequered flag at the 2020 Dakar earlier this year at the wheel of his MINI JCW Buggy. It was El Matador’s third Dakar car race win which stands alongside his two WRC titles in an ultra-impressive motorsports career.
– Sainz declared: I am ready for the Dakar, both mentally and physically, and the MINI JCW Buggy is also working very well. This will be my third Dakar in a MINI, and we have improved from year to year. Of course it is possible to win again – but you get nothing for free at the Dakar. I definitely feel fast enough to challenge for the win.”
– Lucas Cruz will be Sainz’s co-driver at the 2021 Dakar. Cruz has read the roadbook for Sainz on all three of his Dakar wins so far.
– Stéphane Peterhansel is coming to Saudi Arabia for his 33rd participation in the Dakar Rally. Peterhansel has won the Dakar six times on a motorbike and seven times in a car. Due to his legendary status at the rally, Peterhansel is known in the bivouac as Monsieur Dakar.
– Edouard Boulanger will be Peterhansel’s co-driver in Saudi Arabia. The pair competed together for the first time at the Andalucía Rally earlier this year.
– Since winning the previous Dakar, the MINI JCW Buggy has undergone substantial improvements. Overall weight has been reduced as well as suspension set-up and geometry optimised.
– The freshly modified MINI JCW Buggies will race the Hail Bajas 1 and 2, which are taking place in Saudi Arabia in December 2020. These races will be the perfect opportunity for the crews to get fully tuned up for the 2021 Dakar, which takes place the following month.