Volkswagen sets sail in defence of Dakar Rally title

Volkswagen sets sail in defence of Dakar Rally title  
Filed under:
Motorsport, Volkswagen
on 12/02/2009

Source: Volkswagen

With 60 tonnes of material and 17 support vehicles, Volkswagen’s 2010 ‘Dakar’ Rally crew has embarked on its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to South America. From the port of Le Havre in France, five service trucks, three equipment trucks and two race trucks belonging to the Volkswagen Motorsport factory team set out on the longest part of the journey – the four week passage to Buenos Aires in Argentina.

To successfully master the challenge of the world’s toughest rally, the winning team of the past Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile will tackle the title defence project from 2-16 January 2010 by fielding five Volkswagen Race Touaregs. The drivers – Carlos Sainz (E), Giniel de Villiers (ZA), Mark Miller (USA), Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) and Mauricio Neves (BRA) – will be supported on location by 80 service crew.

‘For Volkswagen, the preparation for the Dakar Rally entered its hot phase as early as at the end of September. Today the cargo loading and embarkation of the support crew marked the completion of another stage for the team,’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. ‘And of course, every successful completion of these individual steps makes us look forward to the ‘Dakar’ in Argentina and Chile, which as the title defender we want to again decide in our favour, with even greater anticipation. Today, a major portion of the logistical effort was accomplished.’

The Grande Brasile and its precious cargo: joint passage of all participants

Dakar Rally organiser A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organisation) made it possible for all European participants to transport their material to South America by ship by centrally organising the voyage. The cargo ship Grande Brasile is transporting the majority of the material for the 373 participating teams to the start line in Argentina.

On 28 December – exactly 27 days after the Grande Brasile’s departure from France – the teams will receive their trucks and other support vehicles again, including six Volkswagen Panamericana Multivans that will be used to transport the Volkswagen crew across the demanding South American landscape. Work will then start on location for the 80 team members as the support vehicles will be checked immediately after clearing customs. After this, each vehicle has to go through official scrutineering, just like the rally vehicles, to ensure they have all the necessary modifications including safety features and a sufficient water supply.

On 1 January 2010, when the starting signal is given at the ceremonial ‘Dakar’ start, the armada will embark on its 9,000 kilometres (5,625 miles) tour of Argentina and Chile.

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