BFGoodrich® has won the Dakar 15 times and the American tire brand will once again be the event’s official tire in 2020, in addition to supplying rubber for the event’s premier four-wheel class.
Since 1993, BFGoodrich® has won the Dakar 15 times with five different car manufacturers, namely Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Mini, Peugeot and Toyota.
Over the years, its engineers have fine-tuned the brand’s tires in order to keep apace with the technological evolution of the cars (two-, then four-wheel drive), while at the same time addressing the specific challenges posed by the different parts of the world that have hosted the Dakar over the past four decades (Africa, South America and Saudi Arabia).
For more than 10 years, tires like the BFGoodrich® Baja T/A, Rock T/A and All-Terrain dominated this competition which is famous for being the most grueling of its kind. In 2018, the new BFGoodrich® All-Terrain T/A KDR2+ was introduced specifically for the cars fielded by Peugeot Sport and Toyota Gazoo Racing, and contributed to Peugeot Sport’s victory that year over its Japanese opponent.
Toyota bounced back in 2019, however, to claim its first ever outright Dakar win, on BFGoodrich® All-Terrain T/A KDR2+ tires.
BFGoodrich victory - 2019 Dakar
From strength to strength
While BFGoodrich® made its debut in off-road competition in the United States in 1973, it would be another 20 years before its tires first contested the mother of all cross-country rally raids.
The American brand won the Dakar for the first time in 1999, with Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser and his BFGoodrich®-equipped Renault-engined buggy which reveled in the conditions thrown up by the northwest African terrain to beat the Mitsubishi and Nissan prototypes.
In 2000, the 22nd Dakar ran from the Senegalese capital to Cairo, Egypt, and Schlesser’s Renault-engined buggy and its BFGoodrich® Baja T/A tires proved the combination to beat once again.
BFGoodrich® didn’t equip any of the factory prototypes in 2001, but the BFGoodrich® Rock T/A – a new tire designed especially for these powerful 4x4 machines – claimed its maiden Dakar victory in 2002 thanks to Japan’s Hiroshi Masuoka and his Mitsubishi Pajero.
The BFGoodrich® Rock T/A and Mitsubishi went on to enjoy an unbeaten spell that lasted until 2007.
Following the cancellation of the 2008 rally, the Dakar switched from Africa to South America where BFGoodrich® introduced a brand new tire – the BFGoodrich® All-Terrain – which was engineered to match the performance of the latest-generation factory Mitsubishi and Volkswagen prototypes and address the challenges inherent in the geography of the event’s new location.
The BFGoodrich® All-Terrain hit the ground running to claim the 2009 Dakar with Volkswagen’s Giniel De Villiers. The following year, an evolution of the tire, the All-Terrain+, helped Carlos Sainz to clinch victory for the same team in 2010, while Nasser Al-Attiyah made it three-in-a-row for the German make in 2011.
In 2012, after winning with the Renault-powered buggy, the Mitsubishi Pajero and the Volkswagen Race Touareg, BFGoodrich® triumphed again, this time with the Mini ALL-4 Racing of Stéphane Peterhansel.
BFGoodrich® resumed its winning ways in 2017 with the victory of Stéphane Peterhansel (Peugeot 3008 DKR) who spearheaded a one-two-three finish to notch up the tire firm’s 13th Dakar success.
Carlos Sainz, Peugeot Sport and BFGoodrich® won the 2018 Dakar, which finished in Cordoba, Argentina, while the 2019 Dakar saw Toyota Gazoo Racing win the famous event for the first time with Nasser Al-Attiyah who scored his third Dakar victory.
BFGoodrich®’s Dakar record
• 1993: 1st, FIA Cross-Country Rally 2WD World Cup with Jean-Louis Schlesser. Paris-Dakar Rally class win
• 1999 and 2000: 1st, Paris-Dakar Rally avec Jean-Louis Schlesser
• 2002 and 2003: 1st, Paris-Dakar Rally with Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsubishi Pajero)
• 2004: 1st, Paris-Dakar Rally with Stéphane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi Pajero). BFGoodrich®-equipped cars also finished second and third
• 2005: 1st, Paris-Dakar Rally with Stéphane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi Pajero)
• 2006: 1st, Paris-Dakar Rally with Luc Alphand (Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evo)
• 2007: 1st, Paris-Dakar Rally with Stéphane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evo)
• 2009: 1st, Dakar Rally with Giniel de Villiers (Volkswagen Touareg)
• 2010: 1st, Dakar Rally with Carlos Sainz (Volkswagen Touareg)
• 2011: 1st, Dakar Rally with Nasser Al-Attiyah (Volkswagen Touareg)
• 2012: 1st, Dakar Rally with Stéphane Peterhansel (Mini Cooper)
• 2017: 1st, Dakar Rally with Stéphane Peterhansel (Peugeot 3008 DKR)
• 2018: 1st, Dakar Rally with Carlos Sainz (Peugeot 2008 DKR)
• 2019: 1st, Dakar Rally with Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Hilux Dakar)