BUENOS AIRES: MINI won the world’s toughest rally for the fourth time in a row with Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiyah at the helm.
Al-Attiyah and co-pilot Mathieu Baumel crossed the finishing line in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires as the overall winners, having won five of the 13 legs in their MINI ALL4 Racing after covering more than 9,000 kilometres spanning Argentina, Chile and Bolivia,
“I promised last year when I was on the podium that I'd be back to win, and now I'm here,” said Al-Attiyah, 44.
(WATCH the Dakar Rally finale here)
“It was very hard to lead the race from the very beginning and to continue keeping this position on the long distance. Also because the race was really hard. I'm very happy about this great result and I want to thank and congratulate all mechanics and the team for the great job they have done during the two weeks. The MINI ALL4 Racing is an incredible car and it was again very nice to drive.”
Overall, the MINI ALL4 Racing won 11 of the 13 legs at this year’s “Dakar”. Five of these were double victories for MINI. No fewer than four MINI ALL4 Racing cars ranked among the top five cars in the overall standings.
The Dakar contestants faced numerous challenges on the demanding route from Buenos Aires in Argentina via Iquique in Chile and Uyuni in Bolivia. From classic gravel rallying in Argentina and winding mountain roads through the Andes at altitudes of up to 4,500 metres in Bolivia to the extremely dry and hot Atacama Desert in Chile with its towering dunes and fine sand, the “Dakar” tested both man and machine to their limits.
In the motorcycle category, Spain's defending champion Marc Coma claimed his fifth Dakar title on a KTM.