January 2018 will see the start of the 40th edition of the Dakar. Each year the Dakar organising team lay out a dramatic racing arena, full of natural challenges, to test the endurance of man and machines. The 2018 Dakar promises to be no less of a challenge than its predecessors; this astounding race takes the competitors across the deserts, mountains and plains of Peru and Bolivia before the final finish line in Argentina.
Dakar is a truly international event that brings admiration and respect from across the globe to all competitors, but especially those that succeed in completing this endurance spectacle.
Having captured four consecutive Dakar titles for MINI from 2012 to 2015, as well as five four-wheel drive class wins and four FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup titles, MINI Motorsport, our motorsport partner X-raid and the MINI Family of racing crews will attack Dakar 2018 with even more determination than before. The success these partnerships have already achieved extends the heritage of MINI’s sporting prowess that began over 50 years ago with victories in the Monte Carlo Rally among other illustrious rally competitions.
In addition to the already successful MINI John Cooper Works Rally and the MINI ALL4 Racing, the Dakar 2018 will also be the world stage for the race debut of an all-new motorsport vehicle: the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy. This exciting addition completes the MINI Motorsport line-up and extends the MINI presence into the highly competitive two-wheel drive class for the first time.
To compete within two categories of cross-country rally typifies the sporting nature of MINI performance sub-brand MINI John Cooper Works – and further underlines MINI Motorsport’s future commitment to this challenging section of motorsport. Of course, to debut the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy at Dakar – the most demanding cross-country event – will itself be a challenge. However, MINI’s long-term strategic partnership with X-raid has already proven the MINI brand is more than up to the challenging task at hand.
MINI Motorsport partner X-raid has, over the years, safely guided the MINI Family of international crews to success with complete mastery thanks to its experienced teams of engineers, managers and support personnel. Then there are the crews themselves; drivers and co-drivers from all-corners of the world who unite to thrill spectators and achieve the ultimate success of completing the Dakar.
On behalf of MINI, I wish all competitors, support teams and spectators a safe and exciting Dakar 2018.