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DAKAR RALLY 2015: ROUND UP
 
The 2015 Dakar Rally was held in South America for the seventh year running traversing through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The Dakar rally is a long-distance off-road endurance race that has its origins in Paris, 1978. Typically, four automobile classes compete in the Dakar Rally: motorcycles, cars, quads and trucks. This year’s rally began on January 4th in Buenos Aires, Argentina on a course running through 13 stages and covering over 9000 kilometers, ending on January the 17th. Spanish legend Marc Coma braved the desert sand, a storm and subsequent muddy terrain to scoop his fifth title in the motorcycle category with a winning time of 46 hours three minutes 49 seconds ahead of Portugal's Paulo Goncalves who came in second, 16 minutes 53 seconds behind, followed by Australian rookie Toby Price who finished an impressive third on his debut.

Nasser Al-Attiyah the Qatari Driver along with his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel emerged victorious in the car category with a leading time of 40 hours 32 minutes and 25 seconds despite a 2 minute penalty after the opening stage, for speeding. Ayrat Mardeev lifted his third successive win in the Dakar rally in the truck category in his mean Kamaz racing beast. Polish rider Rafal Sonik battled defending champion Ignacio Casale to set the fastest time in the Quads category, scooping a magnificent win even after being slapped with a 15 minute penalty. The Quad category witnessed some drama after Casale, who was determined to give Sonik a run for his money, withdrew from the race due to mechanical problems while third place rider Sergio Lafuente suffered a devastating accident.

The only fatal incident in the 2015 Dakar Rally was when 39-year-old Michal Hernik, a Polish rider, was found dead around 300 meters off the main road in the third stage of the rally raid. Tests carried out on his body revealed that the course of death was hypothermia – excessive body heat – and severe dehydration.