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Carlos Sainz and co-driver Lucas Cruz have won the Rally Dakar for the third time, presenting MINI with its fifth overall victory at the iconic rally.

20 Jan 2020 | International News : Saudi Arabia

Carlos Sainz and his co-driver Lucas Cruz have won the Rally Dakar for the third time, having previously triumphed in 2010 and 2018.

Carlos Sainz and Stephane Peterhansel finished first and third respectively at the Rally Dakar
In doing so, they have 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 after roughly 7,500km through Saudi Arabia, which was hosting the Dakar for the first time.

Dakar record winner Stephane Peterhansel and his co-driver Paulo Fiuza finished third, 9:58 minutes behind Sainz and Cruz, to round off an impressive performance from the two MINI John Cooper Works (JCW) Buggies. The two MINI JCW Buggy crews each won four stages, while MINI vehicles went fastest on a total of nine of the 12 days. Vaidotas Zala and Saulius Jurgelenas, in a MINI JCW Rally, won the very first Dakar stage on Arabian soil on the opening day.

Orlando Terranova and Bernardo Graue finished in the top three on three days in the four-wheel drive MINI JCW Rally
Seven of the nine MINI crews that started the rally reached the finish in Al-Quiddia, four of them in the top 10. Orlando Terranova and Bernardo 'Ronnie' Graue 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 and his co-driver Alexey Kuzmich were ninth and finished an excellent second on the closing stage. Jakub 'Kuba' Przygonski and co-driver Timo Gottschalk 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 minutes off the lead.

MINI vehicles topped the overall standings after every one of the 12 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.
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