32 Jaw-Dropping Photos From The 2015 Dakar Rally

The Dakar Rally is perhaps the most gruelling race in the world. The 2015 edition of the race took riders and drivers on a 5,600-mile route through Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile.

Over a period of two weeks, the armada of motorcycles, cars, trucks, and ATVs made its way through some of the most inhospitable and beautiful landscapes in the world.

First held in 1979, the race was traditionally run between Europe and Africa. But safety concerns led event organisers to shift the festivities to South America half a decade ago.

Racers took off from Buenos Aires, Argentina on Jan. 4, 2015. Two weeks and 13 rounds of racing later, the race returned to the Argentine capital on the Jan.17.

The contingent of motorcycles ...

... ATVs ...

... cars, and even trucks left Buenos Aires with great fanfare.

The rally raced under sunlight ...

... and moonlight.

The competitors encountered sand ...

... sand ...

... more sand...

... and even more sand!

Over 5,600 miles, racers matched struggled with dirt roads ...

... mountains ...

... rivers ...

... dunes ...

... and even salt flats.

This looks like a scene straight out of 'Mad Max!'

The Dakar Rally drew some very enthusiastic fans.

Some watched from a bridge ...

... while others got up close and personal with the cars.

This guy watched from atop a fence.

American Robby Gordon took part in the race, finishing 19th overall, in a modified Hummer.

The race was covered by a fleet of media vehicles and support helicopters.

The choppers provided racers with a cool place in the shade ...

... and medical treatment when necessary.

One of the most spectacular moments from the race took place during the 7th stage, when Juan Manuel Silva and Pablo Sisterna of Argentina crashed their Mercedes.

The SUV tumbled end-over-end.

It lost a lot of body work and some wheels in the process.

Fortunately, the drivers emerged from the crash in better shape than their car.

Thankfully, most drivers managed to get airborne without ending in a massive crash.

In the end, Spain's Marc Coma and his Austrian KTM won the motorcycle division.

While Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiyah and his co-driver -- France's Matthieu Baumel -- took home the Car division crown in their MINI.

Poland's Rafael Sonik (seen here) won the ATV division in a Yamaha, and Russia's Ayrat Mardeev won the Trucks division in a KAMAZ.

Check the out the awesomely expensive cars driven by China's wealthiest kids in LA ...

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.