Carlos Sainz discussing Dakar Mini deal extension

The three-time Dakar victor wants to add to his wins haul on the grueling rally raid

Carlos Sainz

Spanish rallying royalty Carlos Sainz wants to return to Saudi Arabia in January with the aim of defending his 2020 Dakar victory.

The two time World Rally Champion is a triple winner of the marathon event, having taken victory in South America with Volkswagen and Peugeot and on the inaugural Middle East running with Mini at the start of this season. The 2020 running of the event was Sainz’s second with Mini, and his win was the marque’s first since 2015.

Sainz told DirtFish he is talking about a deal to remain with the X-Raid squad to drive the Mini John Cooper Works Buggy in 2021.

“Like I said always, if the chance is there to win, then I am interested,” said Sainz. “We are talking about this and, of course, I would like to go back to defend the victory.

“We want to go back, this is a really good opportunity and we talk to Mini about it.”

Recent speculation has also linked Sébastien Loeb to a Dakar return – with the Spanish press reporting his most likely option to be the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux which Fernando Alonso drove this season.