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MINI wins 2015 Dakar Rally

Second place in the car category went to a Toyota Hilux.

Qatari pilot Nasser Al-Attiyah has won the 2015 edition of the Dakar Rally in a heavily-modified MINI Countryman. The podium finish marks MINI's fourth consecutive Dakar win and Al-Attiyah's second career win.

Racing for the Qatar Rally Team, Al-Attiyah finished the grueling race in 40 hours, 32 minutes and 25 seconds. Second place in the car category was awarded to Giniel De Villiers who finished the race about 35 minutes behind Al-Attiyah in a Toyota Hilux, while a pair of MINIs captured third and fourth place. Eleven-time Dakar winner St├ęphane Peterhansel took 11th place behind the wheel of a Peugeot 2008 DKR.

The race was held in South America for the seventh consecutive year. This year's course took competitors 5,500 miles through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. Cars, trucks and motorcycles battled over rough terrain including the Andes mountain range and the Acatama Desert, widely considered one of the most unforgiving regions on the planet.

The Dakar-winning MINI is designed to look like a stock Countryman but the two share virtually no parts. Fitted with a Kevlar body, the rally car is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine that sends 310 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque to all four wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox. The MINI can reach a top speed of about 110 mph, which is plenty in a race where endurance and off-road ability are more important than all-out speed.

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