The title has successfully been defended. The MINI John Cooper Works Buggy has won the Dakar Rally for the second time in a row following its dominant 2020 win. This time it was record winner Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) and his co-driver Edouard Boulanger (FRA) who topped the podium after twelve stages through the Saudi Arabian desert.
MINI now has now won Dakar a total of six times over the last eight years and this is Peterhansel’s 14th overall win at the Dakar. Massive congrats to the team and for the entire MINI contingent who made this possible.
Peterhansel and Boulanger crossed the finish line of the 43rd edition of the Rally Dakar in Jeddah (KSA) with a lead of 14:51 minutes in the overall standings. The duo only took one stage win, but showed great consistency and didn’t make any major mistakes. Third-placed Sainz and Cruz took three stage wins and had a deficit of 1:01:57 hours to the winners at the end.
Peterhansel added another chapter to his impressive Dakar record. He has now won the rally six times on a motorcycle (1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998) and eight times in a car (2004, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2021). MINI took four consecutive wins with the MINI ALL4 Racing between 2012 and 2015, and now for the second time in a row with the MINI JCW Buggy after 2020.
At this year’s edition, in addition to Peterhansel and Sainz, a third MINI crew finished in the top ten. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) and Dmitry Tsyro (UKR) crossed the finish line in sixth place in the MINI JCW Rally. A total of eight MINI cars competed in Saudi Arabia in 2021, six of which reached the finish line.
“I’m over the moon with the win. The pressure was immense since we were leading the overall standings for much of the race. You can only lose in that situation. But I have to say, we drove almost a perfect Dakar without any major errors and once again that was the key to success. Things were perfect between Edouard and me, and I was delighted to have him sat next to me. He couldn’t have done anything better.”
Bernd Körber – Head of the MINI brand
“What a fantastic success for the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy, the X-raid team and in particular for Stéphane Peterhansel and Edouard Boulanger. Congratulations on winning the Dakar! Congratulations to Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz as well, who made it onto the podium again after their win in 2020. Second Dakar win in a row, sixth MINI victory since 2012 – everyone in the MINI family can be very proud of this record. In addition to the Buggy, the MINI John Cooper Works Rally with its four-wheel drive did a very good job once again. I’m happy for all the MINI entrants who took on the toughest endurance rally in the world and made it to the finish line. Unfortunately, this success is overshadowed by the tragic accident involving Pierre Cherpin, which affects us all deeply. We wish the relatives every strength.”
Sven Quandt – CEO X-raid
“It’s never easy winning, but this win was particularly difficult since the terrain is very similar to Africa: fast and slow sectors, with lots of stones – topped off by difficult navigation. We’re delighted to have brought home this sixth win for MINI. We didn’t dare dream of first and third place ahead of the Dakar. The past 14 days have been very tiring: leading the overall standings for much of the rally, the tricky navigation and lots of tyre damage. But once again Stéphane showed that it is not without reason that he is Mr. Dakar. He shone on difficult terrain and drove very cleverly strategically. He only got one day win, but a lead of 14 minutes in the overall standings.”