MINI ALL4 Racing with Nasser Al-Attiyah secures win at 2015 Sealine Cross-Country Rally Qatar

MINI ALL4 Racing takes top two podium places and continues to lead 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.

Munich (DE). MINI successfully defends the Sealine Cross-Country Rally Qatar (18th-24th April) – round three of the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup – with Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and his MINI ALL4 Racing taking the win after five stages of drama-filled racing.

In a repeat of last year’s Sealine Cross-Country Rally Qatar, Nasser Al-Attiyah controlled the 2015 race from Stage 1, when he took the win and repeated this winning streak across the first three stages. Three punctures during Stage 4 denied Al-Attiyah a fourth win but placed him third at stage end, with fellow MINI ALL4 Racing driver Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) in second place.

It was a tough race, it was really long, not like last year,

Nasser Al-Attiyah

In the final race, Stage 5, Al-Attiyah continued to show his cool, competitive nature and driving skill to capture second place and to secure the overall event win with co-driver Matthieu Baumel (FRA) united in celebration. “It was a tough race, it was really long, not like last year,” said Nasser Al-Attiyah. “We were leading from the beginning and it was a great week for us.”

Even though the Sealine Cross-Country Rally Qatar threw up some difficult driving conditions of wind, deep sand, high temperatures and stone-covered terrain, such was the reliability of the MINI ALL4 Racing machines, three MINI ALL4 Racing cars finished within the top five positions in all of the five race stages.

Russian duo Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) also had a hard race over the difficult five stages but the pairings’ determination paid off with a strong second-place overall. “We were a little surprised, but in a good way, to be second at the finish,” commented Vasilyev, before adding: “It was a good fight with Yazeed and we were maybe a little fortunate. It was a hard rally. But we are happy with the points and we still have a good lead in the championship.”

Adam Malysz in MINI ALL4 Racing car #209 also suffered with punctures and difficult terrain conditions to end the race in a creditable sixth place – the Sealine Cross-Country Rally Qatar being only his second World Cup event outing in the MINI ALL4 Racing. Meanwhile, the MINI ALL4 Racing of 2014 Dakar Rally winner Juan ‘Nani’ Roma (SP) and Alex Haro (SP) finished today’s Stage 5 in fourth place, which made up for the disappointment of a technical problem during Stage 4 that slowed their charge up the running order.

Unfortunately for the two MINI ALL4 racing crews Erik Van Loon (NLD) / Wouter Rosegaar (NLD) and Harry Hunt (GBR) / Andreas Schulz (DE), they retired during Stage 3. As a consequence of both crews crashing in separate incidents, they couldn’t continue.

Today’s result sees MINI and its MINI ALL4 Racing retain the lead in the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup with driver Vasilyev on 123 points. MINI ALL4 Racing crews now fill the top three positions of the World Cup with Al-Attiya in second place (60 points) and Erik Van Loon (NLD) third (52 points).

MINI ALL4 Racing final positions at official race end:

Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)
Mathieu Baumel (FRA)
Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS)
Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS)
Adam Malysz (POL)
Rafal Marton (POL)
Juan Roma (SP)
Alex Haro (SP)

Race calendar: 2015 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies

20/02 – 22/02 Baja Russia
27/03 – 02/04 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
18/04 – 24/04 Sealine Cross-Country Rally Qatar
10/05 – 17/05 Pharaons Rally
25/06 – 28/06 Italian Baja
24/07 – 26/07 Baja Aragón
13/08 – 16/08 HunGarian Baja
27/08 – 30/08 Baja Poland
03/10 – 09/10 Rallye du Maroc
22/10 – 24/10 Baja Portalegre 500

MINI Motorsport

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About this article
Series Cross-Country Rally
Event Qatar Sealine Cross Country Rally
Drivers Nasser Al-Attiyah , Matthieu Baumel , Adam Malysz , Vladimir Vasilyev
Article type Race report
Tags mini, mini all4 racing