In January 2009, Volkswagen took its first shot at the grueling Dakar Rally with some diesel-powered race Touaregs and finished first and second. This year, the automaker went back and took the first three positions at the finish. With an all-new Touareg on deck – we know, we know, the race vehicle doesn't share much with the production version – Volkswagen has decided to go back and try for the hat-trick. VW hasn't given any details, but we expect the 2011 race vehicle to be derived from the new Touareg.
The Dakar effort is one of several VW alternative fuel motorsport events, which also includes the Jetta TDI Cup in North America and the new Scirocco R Cup in Europe. The Scirocco series uses cars powered by compressed bio natural gas. VW is also running a bio gas-fueled car in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race.
VOLKSWAGEN AIMS TO CLINCH DIESEL HAT-TRICK AT DAKAR RALLY
After the one-two-three finish in January this year, the Volkswagen Board of Management has decided to continue the successful commitment confirming that Volkswagen will contest the Dakar Rally again in January 2011.
Volkswagen made motorsport history back in 2009 with the diesel-powered Race Touareg, finishing the classic rally with a one-two victory on its first attempt. This announcement means that the Wolfsburg based automobile manufacturer has the opportunity to clinch a hat-trick on one of the toughest tests in worldwide motorsport.
'The Dakar Rally makes maximum demands on the vehicles and the team. This makes it the ideal terrain to present Volkswagen's technical expertise and perfect teamwork to a large audience,' said Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand for the Development Division. 'South America is an important growth market for Volkswagen and thus the ideal venue to continue expanding the awareness and popularity enjoyed by the Volkswagen brand.'
Commenting on the continued commitment to the Dakar Rally, Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen explained: 'We now have the opportunity to achieve the diesel hat-trick and to thereby make motorsport history again. We will again invest all our passion, heart and soul in this project at the next Dakar.'
The Dakar Rally remains at the forefront of Volkswagen's motorsport involvement. With great innovative achievements and sporting exploits, the engineers from Wolfsburg have established diesel technology with its high fuel economy in top-calibre sport.
The brand pursues an all-new approach with the Scirocco R Cup that is being staged for the first time. With a CO2 reduction of 80 per cent, Volkswagen banks on a novel concept. The use of bio natural gas combines sustainability and environmental compatibility in motorsport. Bio natural gas will be used at the 24-hour race on the legendary Nordschleife of the Nürburgring for the first time as well. Furthermore, Volkswagen proves technological prowess at other one-make cups in India, China and the USA and complements its motorsport commitment as engine supplier to several Formula 3 series and the ADAC Formula Masters junior series.