Skip to main content


Nasser Al-Attiyah:
the desert prince





in 2018, the Dakar Rally is being organised for the 40th time. To celebrate the occasion, BFGoodrich® looks back at the first four decades of this unique competition in the form of a collection of anecdotes and souvenirs, plus a presentation of the characters who have marked the history of the world’s number one cross-country rally . We begin by reviewing the careers of four drivers who have left an indelible mark on the event over the years.



The 2010s…

Nasser Al-Attiyah: the desert prince

Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah is an accomplished sportsman who has enjoyed success in two sports. One is skeet shooting and his seven participations in the Olympic Games harvested a bronze medal in London in 2012. The other sport in which he excels is motorsport and his personal record includes five Middle-East rally titles and two WRC2 crowns .

Born in Doha, which is surrounded by desert , Nasser Al-Attiyah was naturally drawn to cross-country rallying, too, and he first contested the Dakar in 2004 behind the wheel of a BFGoodrich®-equipped Mitsubishi Pajero which he steered to 10th overall.

To continue his apprenticeship of the event, he switched to a BMW X3/BFGoodrich® and claimed his first stage victory in Mauritania in 2007, the year of the Dakar’s final visit to Africa.

Now competing in the colours of Volkswagen Motorsport, Nasser Al-Attiyah blossomed as the Dakar moved to South America, scoring three stage wins in 2009. The following year saw him collect the highest number of fastest times but he was beaten after 4,810 competitive kilometres by just 2 minutes and 12 seconds (the Dakar’s smallest ever winning margin) after a thrilling duel with team-mate Carlos Sainz .

Revenge came the following January when he won the 2011 Dakar in a Volkswagen Race Touareg/BFGoodrich®, but the German make’s subsequent withdrawal from cross-country rallying left him without a drive. 

He bounced back in 2013, though, when he produced a stand-out performance against the factory 4x4 elite in a privately-entered, BFGoodrich®-equipped buggy. After that, he joined X-Raid with whom he took his second Dakar victory in 2015 after posting five stage wins.

Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah is one of the fastest cross-country rally drivers of the current decade and it is only a matter of time before he adds to his record.




Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest special offers, product launches and road safety tips!