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Dakar 2015 winner Nasser Al-Attiyah: The sporty all-rounder

Red Bull
Dakar 2015 winner Nasser Al-Attiyah
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N ater Al-Attiyah is on the summit his sports career - at the age of 44, in three different sports. Within a few weeks he secured the WRC 2 and Middle East rally championship titles with a Ford Fiesta. Now he has won his second Dakar Rally victory in the Mini. And Al-Attiyah is also world class as a Sagittarius. In 2012 he won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in London.

His trademark is the disarming smile. And his courtesy. Nasser Al-Attiyah does not send a fan away who wants a selfie or an autograph. He fulfills all such wishes with a real donkey patience.

Second Dakar victory with a new co-driver

In the racing car, on the other hand, Al-Attiyah was initially considered a wild guy who did not always have his emotions and his urge to move forward fully under control. This didn't always work for his cars. When he won the Dakar for the first time in 2011 in his second year with the VW works team - with the German Timo Gottschalk in the passenger seat - the catchphrase 'Yalla, yalla!' the round. Fast fast. But that doesn't always work.

Last year he wasted his chance of winning because he didn't look for one of the mandatory waypoints with perseverance. Contrary to the urgent advice of his navigator Lucas Cruz, Al-Attiyah just kept roaring instead of looking for five minutes. He got an hour penalty. That was the end of hopes for victory.

After all, in 2014 he still finished third in the Mini. Now Al-Attiyah showed up again with a new co, the French Matthieu Baumel. The interaction between the two works great. There was nothing to be heard of quarrel, quarrel and quarrel in the cockpit. And on Baumel's 39th birthday, of all things, the two arrived in Buenos Aires with their Mini as the winner.

Al-Attiyah with problems at heights

As usual, the Mini was a loyal companion . 'We had a flat tire twice and in Bolivia we lost a front wheel because the wheel bolts came loose,' he sums up. 'Fortunately we were very slow when it fell off. So not much happened.

Al-Attiyah's only big problem at the 2015 Dakar was the mountain air in Bolivia. Here he struggled with nausea As many other drivers have done, Al-Attiyah has not had the time in recent monthshe enters all sorts of other rallies: he made the WRC 2 series title win with a Ford Fiesta and he triumphed in the Middle East championship.

In 2014, Al-Attiyah competed in 25 rallies and cross-countries Events. A grueling mammoth program. In the next few months he wants to slow down in the rally car. But the 44-year-old definitely wants to start in the regional Porsche Carrera Cup. He rides in the team of the Austrian Walter Lechner. The German racing driver Michael Ammermüller is Al-Attiyah's coach. 'A great guy,' says the Qatar.

'I can learn a lot from Michael about driving on the circuit.' This year also qualifies for the 2016 Olympic Games. There he wants to get gold in clay pigeon shooting. 'In the near future, I will first force shooting training,' he says. 'As a racing driver you benefit tremendously from shooting, where it is primarily a matter of concentration. If you want to be in front, you have to bring down 200 of 200 clay pigeons.' It is quite possible that this rule works the other way around.

If so, Al-Attiyah is almost certain of the gold medal. Because at the Dakar Rally 2015, Al-Attiyah was concentration incarnate. Mini team owner Sven Quandt: 'I was really impressed that Nasser was able to control the pace this year and, if in doubt, slow it down a bit. This shows: Nasser is the best.'

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