Dakar Rally SS1: All three MINI John Cooper Works Buggy in the top 10

Dakar Rally SS1: All three MINI John Cooper Works Buggy in the top 10


  • Second place for Carlos Sainz

  • Peterhansel und Despres in seventh and tenth

The long wait finally came to an end today – the X-raid MINI JCW Team kicked off the 2019 Dakar with an 83-kilometre special stage around the bivouac in Pisco. Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (both ESP) ended day one in second place in the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy, behind Al-Attiyah in his Toyota. Stéphane Peterhansel and David Castera (both FRA) were seventh fastest, with Cyril Despres and Jean-Paul Cottret (both FRA) tenth.

As reigning Dakar champions, Sainz and Cruz had the honour of opening the first stage, the start of which was delayed by a little over an hour. The reason for the delay was GPS issues in the motorcycle category. The Spanish duo ended the opening stage in second place. “We did not have any major issues today,” reported Sainz at the finish. “We knew what to expect. Furthermore, we didn’t want to have to open tomorrow’s stage, so that is why we took it a little easier today.”

Peterhansel and Castera had to overcome a few difficulties, but still managed to finish seventh and secure their place in the top ten. “After so many weeks without a rally, I always take a bit of time to find my rhythm at first,” said Peterhansel. “As such, we did not push hard today. Plus, we had a slow puncture. We decided not to change the tyre, but to nurse the car home steadily.”

The third MINI JCW Buggy crew of Despres and Cottret ended day one in tenth place. “I love this rally and always feel particularly good on the opening day,” said a pleased Despres. “We did not have to push hard today and I really enjoyed the stage.”

The start of tomorrow’s 342-kilometre special stage has a slightly different look to it: instead of the motorcycles, it will be the cars that open the route. This will make navigation significantly more difficult, as the co-drivers will not be able to follow the tracks left by the bikers.

Dakar Rally Result SS1:
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Mathieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota – 1h 1m 41s
2. Carlos Sainz (ESP) / Lucas Cruz (ESP) MINI JCW Buggy  – 1h 3m 40s
3. Kuba Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL) MINI JCW Rally – 1h 3m 41s
4. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) Toyota – 1h 3m 59s
5. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) MINI JCW Rally – 1h 4m 09s
6. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 1h 4m 21s
7. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / David Castera (FRA) MINI JCW Buggy – 1h 4m 38s
8. Bernhard Ten Brinke (NLD) / Xavier Panseri (FRA) Toyota – 1h 5m 00s
9. Harry Hunt (GBR) / Wouter Rosegaar (FRA) Peugeot – 1h 5m 06s
10. Cyril Despres (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) MINI JCW Buggy – 1h 6m 06s


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