Racing News

Sven Quandt's X-Raid team is contesting the 2018 Dakar rally with seven cars. Four are upgraded versions of the all-wheel-drive tube-frame John Cooper Works Rally that ran in 2017, and three are all-new rear-wheel-drive Mini John Cooper Works Buggies designed by Mini and the X-Raid Team to take maximum advantage of Dakar rules.

Describing the buggy, Mini says, “The specially designed tubular steel frame provides maximum protection for driver and passenger in extreme situations. A specifically designed body made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) and Kevlar is stretched over the frame. The authentic buggy-look exterior has been designed in close cooperation with Mini Design and aerodynamically optimized."

Both the JCW Works Rally and the Buggy are powered by 3.0 liter inline six-cylinder diesel engines that generate 340 horsepower and  maximum torque of 800 Nm.

Two of the crews running the Buggies have Dakar experience; they are Mikko Hirvonen and co-driver Andreas Schulz, and Yazeed Al Rajhi and co-driver Timo Gottschalk. The third buggy will be run by a pair of American Dakar rookies, Bryce Menzies and Peter Mortensen.

The four John Cooper Works Rally crews are all being run by Dakar veterans. They include: Joan ‘Nani’ Roma, who has won the Dakar for Mini, along with Alex Haro; Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski and Tom Colsoul; Orlando Terranova and Bernardo Graue; and Boris Garafulic and Filipe Palmeiro.  

The 2018 Dakar is being run in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. It begins with a 31km warm-up stage from Lima to Pisco, Peru on January 6 and ends on January 20 in Cordoba, Argentina. There are fourteen stages in all. Detailed information on the event along with news releases and videos are available on the event website. The NBC Sports Network will provide ongoing updates on the event beginning at 5:30 PM eastern time on January 7.—Brian S. Morgan