Land Rover Defender returns to the Dakar Rally in 2021

The Land Rover Defender played a vital role at the world’s most extreme motorsport event – the Dakar Rally – with a pair of production-standard models joining Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) as crew vehicles for its 2021 campaign.

The two Defender 110s provided on-event support for the team’s two drivers, medical crew and support staff across the punishing 13-day, 12-stage, 7,646km event. 

Land Rover already enjoys a rich association with the event after a Range Rover won the first ever Dakar Rally in 1979, before triumphing again in 1981. 

The latest iteration of Land Rover’s iconic Defender 4x4 took on the ultimate all-terrain challenge with two 110 models acting as support vehicles in the Dakar Rally 2021.  

The famous (and infamous) rally is one of the toughest sporting events in the world. The two production-spec models supported ambitious new Dakar Rally and Prodrive-backed team, Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) throughout the 7,646km race. BRX ended the event with a Top 5 placing overall. 

The pair of Defender 110 4x4s had to negotiate extreme conditions, traversdesert dunes, mud, camel grass, and rocks as they carried vital supplies, crew and equipment for the team and drivers.  

BRX’s driver line-up included nine-time World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb, from France, and two-time Dakar Rally winner, Nani Roma, from Spain.  

The showroom-standard models also provided essential support for crew members, who will camp, eat and sleep in the P400 models across 12 gruelling stages of desert driving.  

The Indus Silver models were both fitted with the Explorer Pack, which includes an Expedition Roof Rack, Raised Air Intake, Wheel Arch Protection and Exterior Side-Mounted Gear Carrier. In addition, a Deployable Roof Ladder provided easy access to a roof box, which will help BRX carry all the necessary kit. 

The role of support vehicle saw crew members test the Defender’s expedition credentials to the extremes. With a maximum payload of up to 900kg and maximum dynamic roof load of 168kg, each of the vehicles were loaded with equipment and supplies, while advanced Terrain Response 2 technology, including world-first Configurable Terrain Response, will allowing the drivers to fine-tune the vehicle to suit both their driving preferences and the challenging conditions. 

The crew needed to know our support vehicles will be able to carry all of the necessary kit and be relied upon to get to the next service location, whatever the conditions the new Defender provided a unique combination of all-terrain performance, rugged practicality and comfort – a crucial combination for the unpredictable Dakar conditions and after long days behind the wheel.”

— BRX Team Principal, Paul Howorth.

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