Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Mini, Honda Triumph at World's Most Dangerous Race


Carlos Sainz and his co-driver Lucas Cruz 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.

Dakar record winner Stéphane Peterhansel and his co-driver Paulo Fiuza finished third 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 / Saulius Jurgelenas, 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, Saudi Arabia, 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.


Meanwhile, it was an emotional win for Ricky Brabec who rode his Honda CRF450 Rally to the top spot in the motorcycle class. His win gave Honda its first Dakar victory in 31 years.

The 28-year-old rode his first Dakar Rally in 2016 with Team HRC, making 2020 his fifth attempt. After winning Stage 3 in this year’s edition, Brabec led the overall race, which he defended through solid riding in the subsequent stages, finally achieving his first overall win at the event. Teammates José Ignacio Cornejo finished 4th overall, and Joan Barreda 7th, placing three Honda team riders in the top 10.

The Dakar Rally was first held in 1979, making this year its 42nd edition. Known as “the most dangerous sporting event in the world,” this year’s race in Saudi Arabia took drivers and riders over more than 7,000 km (of which 75 percent was in the desert), through 12 stages in 13 days.

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