Video Highlights of MINI’s Epic Dakar Rally Win

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Last January MINI pulled off perhaps the biggest win in it’s Motorsports resume since the 60’s with the a first place at the epic Dakar. Sure MINI did it in a dedicated off-road race car (the only real way to win Dakar for many years) but the effort and results speak for themselves. A race like Dakar is not easily finished much less won. And for experienced X-raid Motorsports it could just be the start of a long run of successful MINI Dakar campaigns.

You can check out the video after the break. And make sure to go full screen and turn the volume up. It’s well worth it.

  • JonPD

    Very cool. Great for MINI that it was wearing MINI clothing on the race car. Advertisement is all good. Though I would chuckle at anybody influenced to buy a R60 with this since the car share only the look.

    • Nathaniel Salzman

      You bring this up every time, and I just don’t get it. Everything out there was purpose built. All the VWs, all the Hummers. All of it. Are you wishing for a showroom stock class at Dakar? Bottom line, the car fielded by MINI won the race on only its second time out. Frankly I don’t care if they made it out of old Fiat parts and bailing wire. They won, and that’s fantastic. Winning one of the toughest races in the world is a big deal, no matter what your car is based on. And even if it’s not a stock Countryman, it’s still a job very well done by the engineering team at BMW/MINI Motorsports.

      • Jack Empson

        I like the part where I tell my motoring friends that a MINI beat a Hummer in the worlds toughest off road race.

      • Anonymous

        I totally get where JonPD’s coming from, but ultimately this is no different than any other variation of “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.”  Stock or modified.  

        To add to what you said, Nathaniel, this is about MINI brand exposure. Not about convincing potential buyers of a Countryman that the same Countryman at the dealership can win Dakar.

        IMHO, OC.

      • JonPD

         Dakar is not a manufacturer race to me broadly speaking. A vast majority of the vehicles are just hanging skins of road vehicles. I would say great job to the team and good job for BMW/MINI for helping them hang a MINI based body on it. This exact same platform could have likely been any number of different vehicles with little effort. Don’t get me wrong its a great victory for the team and BMW(MINI) racing. Mostly for MINI though its just draping with a MINI shaped body.. Still works since to most the world these are BMW’s, Hummers etc etc versus the fact that they are removed greatly from anything any of us can buy at any dealership. Still good advertising for MINI.

        • Gabriel Bridger

          The MINI Design team actually designed this car FYI

        • JonPD

          I am sure they did in order to get the race car to look like a R60. Would bet that most of the chassis and drivetrain work happened through BMW Motorsports. Not claiming any deep insight just MINI Motorsports is largely a decorative front end to BMW Motorsports I believe.

        • Gabriel Bridger

          MINI Design. Not MINI Motorsports. MINI Design (like BMW Design does with BMW race-cars) created the look driven by aero and other functional needs. It’s a race car with a connection to a brand through actual hands-on work. More than most factory teams can say. And as an aside you should go to MINI Motorsport’s shop and try telling that to them in person :)

        • JonPD

           Would be happy to do so, I have the feeling that the separation between MINI and BMW engineering is actually fairly thin. No bashing anybody at MINI just working with the suspicion that BMW Engineering and Motorsports is vastly larger of a group with deeper previous experience. The fact of this using a BMW racing motor and likely they would have helped with the chassis and drivetrain. At best still believe a majority of the MINI development was to develop a look that handled the needs of the race car and how to wrap it in a MINI inspired body.. As I have said I have much more respect for a factory development with things like the WRC car, even though is only distantly related to the production car it is a evolution of the production car and much more than window dressing. Just my view

    • Gabriel Bridger

      What are your thoughts about F1? Or LeMans cars? Or ALMS? Just curious.

      • JonPD

         F1 is very different, while its true there has been some technology transfer from it to influence production its not masquerading as a production car. LeMan and ALMS are broadly the same though they are much closer to a production car than the Dakar X-Raid teams car. I think they are closer to the WRC cars however, so a little more reflective of the brand to me. Still WRC, LeMans, and ALMS cars are still far away from production cars and personally would do nothing to influence me to pick up a stock M3 or R60 on that alone. Not sure why a race developed car shaped like mine would be enough to trick me into thinking that both share much.