The souped-up, rather insanely painted Minis you see here are currently in the midst of a 4,970-mile, 14-day trek through Peru, Argentina and Chile for the 35th Rally Dakar.

The epic event, which began in 1978 as the Paris-Dakar Rally from the French capital to Senegal, is the ultimate off-road endurance race where reputations are made or broken—which is how many of the competing vehicles end up, nowhere near the finish line.

Last year, the Monster Energy X Raid team won the works in Mini ALL4 Racing cars, specially enhanced versions of factory models made to conquer the world’s most unforgiving terrain.

This year, they’re looking to do it again despite a more challenging route, different technical regulations, and even tougher competition, in a quartet of cars based on the Mini Countryman.

The team’s real secret weapon, however, is leader Stéphane Peterhansel, who has a record-breaking 23 starts and 10 Dakar wins under his belt, more than any other driver.

No wonder they call him “Mr. Dakar”…