W2RC, a Mini for Carlos Sainz in Portugal

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After winning the Dakar last January with Audi, Carlos Sainz is set to return to driving a Mini in the upcoming W2RC stage.

With Audi bidding farewell to the rally-raid world after the Dakar 2024 victory, with Carlos Sainz behind the wheel, the Spanish driver has reached an agreement to participate in the next scheduled event with the Mini X-Raid team. This event is the Portugal Rally-Raid (Trans-Iberian Rally), serving as the third round of the W2RC.

“The current leader of the FIA W2RC, Carlos Sainz, will join a new team for the race in Portugal after winning the Dakar with Audi! ‘El Matador’ will drive a Mini JCW from the X-Raid Team led by Sven Quandt, former head of the Audi program in the last Dakar.” “See you in Grândola,” reads a post published by the official W2RC account.

As highlighted in the W2RC post, Sainz will reunite with Sven Quandt, accompanied by co-driver Álex Haro. At the moment, neither the team nor Sainz has issued official statements, but the W2RC announcement speaks of an agreement limited to the Portugal rally-raid alone.

Currently, the former WRC world champion and recent winner of the Dakar 2024 is free and evaluating possible options for a highly competitive seat for the Dakar 2025. Some rumors suggest that Ford is interested in signing the Spanish driver. Toyota has also expressed interest in hiring the former Audi driver.