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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Dakar Rally: Volkswagen tackles big challenge

The biggest motorsport challenge on new terrain: on 03 January 2009, the legendary Dakar Rally after 29 editions in Africa will be run in South America for the first time in its history. Four Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 vehicles will cross the starting ramp in Buenos Aires.15 legs will take the "Dakar" drivers through Argentina and Chile from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back through regions which make extreme demands on man and material. The Volkswagen team starts to this new era with the self-confidence of successfully contested rallies and fully focused on a big task.

"The team is looking forward to the event with incredibly eager anticipation. At the same time, the Dakar Rally's debut in South America is one of the biggest challenges Volkswagen has tackled so far," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "With two wins and a second place in three events, the Race Touareg has been extremely successful this year. At the `Dakar' we'll give everything to add the greatest victory of all to this tally. Everyone in the team knows that we're strong enough to reach this goal. Yet the sport and particularly the Dakar Rally always offers surprises. We will work with concentration in order to prevail against strong rivals in extremely tough conditions."

Four Race Touareg vehicles, four seasoned factory teams

The four Volkswagen factory duos possess a wealth of experience: the two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz (Spain) will be navigated by the renowned cross-country rally co-driver Michel Perin (France). Giniel de Villiers (South Africa), with four overall wins the most successful Volkswagen driver in cross-country rally sport, relies on instructions by his co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz (Karlshof). Mark Miller (USA) and his "co" Ralph Pitchford (South Africa) in June celebrated the one-two win together with their team-mates de Villiers/von Zitzewitz as the runners-up at the Rallye dos Sertões in Brazil. A German duo is formed by Dieter Depping (Wedemark) and co-driver Timo Gottschalk (Berlin) at their debut in the Race Touareg they celebrated third place at the Central Europe Rally. read more...

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