MINI ALL4 Racing driver Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) is officially crowned winner of the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup – a victory shared with his regular co-driver Mathieu Baumel (FRA). With this momentous achievement, MINI is also confirmed as winner of the ‘Manufacturer’ title within the World Cup. MINI with its MINI ALL4 Racing has now achieved an enviable four consecutive (2011-2015) title wins in this prestigious championship.
Official confirmation of these two major World Cup wins comes directly after the tenth and final round of the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup – the Baja Portalegre 500 (22nd-24th October) held in Portugal. Once again this popular race on the World Cup calendar featured a MINI ALL4 Racing (#516) in the race line up. Chilean Boris Garafulic and Portuguese navigator Filipe Palmeiro finished 5th and assisted greatly with race preparations ahead of the 2016 Dakar Rally.
MINI ALL4 Racing driver Nasser Al-Attiyah took the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup title in emphatic style by amassing an unbeatable 201 points lead by round nine (Rallye du Maroc, 3-9th October) of the 10 round series. Needless to say Al-Attiyah was extremely happy with the official result…
“This season has been a good season for MINI and me. The best race for me was Qatar because this was a home win. There have been some tough moments but we quickly forget what happened and come back more strongly for all the other events. To win the World Cup and the Dakar Rally is fantastic and says we – Mathieu and me – sure are the best crew in cross-country with the best car. The MINI ALL4 Racing has a lot of experience with the X-raid team behind it; the best team in World Cup cross-country. My aim now is to win the Dakar again.”
Victory in the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup can be classed as icing on the cake following a glorious start to the year when a MINI ALL4 Racing won the grueling 2015 Dakar Rally at the hands of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel. This dynamic duo’s success in the Dakar event was shared by eight fellow MINI ALL4 Racing crews who also crossed the finish line – four of which finished in the top five positions.
To compete in the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup was no less a feat for all of the MINI ALL4 Racing crews. The terrains of snow-packed and ice covered ground in Russia and the sands of the desert events couldn’t be any more different. A sandstorm at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was severe enough to cause the cancellation of the last leg of the event due to safety fears. The threat of punctures was constant and just one of many challenges to avoid under racing conditions.
Despite severe opposing temperatures, high winds and unrelenting rock-strewn valleys and peaks, the durability and reliable performance of the MINI ALL4 Racing once again shone through. Of the nine World Cup races prior to Baja Portalegre 500, the pairing of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel won five of these. Three other races of the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup were also won by MINI ALL4 Racing. An additional non-championship race (Ruta 40, Argentina) saw a MINI ALL4 Racing one-two finish.
The 2015 season of the World Cup also saw a dramatic move by MINI to introduce new blood to the race-proven MINI ALL4 Racing. Mixing it up with favourites such as Orlando Terranova (ARG), Nani Roma (ESP) and Erik Van Loon (NLD), the arrival of Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Harry Hunt (GBR) and Adam Malysz (POL) produced quality racing and immediate results.
To be four times victorious in the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup – and the Dakar Rally – again proves beyond doubt the MINI ALL4 Racing’s all-round capability. Based on the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, MINI ALL4 Racing are prepared under the direction of Sven Quandt with technical expertise and much experience by Trebur-based (DE) X-raid. The 2015 World Cup title is now the ninth for X-raid and the eighth in a row.
With the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup now complete, the cross-country rally world looks towards next year and the 2016 edition of the Dakar Rally (3-16 January 2016).