Volkswagen Surviving Odds During the Dakar Rally

by : Natalie Anderson

The Dakar Rally has been a successful event for Volkswagen with a 1-2 finish on the final stage of the arduous event. Giniel de Villiers' stage wins-his fourth and Volkswagen's 10th from the 14 stages-underlined the speed and dominance of the TDI powered Race Touareg 2. It was Volkswagen's team that led the first eight days of the Dakar Rally but was cut short when the team encountered engine problems. Volkswagen's team did not elaborate on the problem, so it's not really clear what goes wrong with the engine. It should be noted that the German automaker is famous for creating the best quality auto parts in the world like its . The untoward engine incident during the Rally is something that is expected especially in such a grueling race fortunately Europe's largest automaker was prepared for it. And so at the end the Volkswagen team still ends up triumphant although not in first place.

According to Volkswagen Motorsports Director Kris Nissen, "We're looking back on a Dakar Rally which has given us many great moments as well as a bitter disappointment. Volkswagen had 10 outstanding days when we claimed stage victories, five good days when we finished the stages in second and third places, and one black day when both of our best placed cars suffered problems."

The highest-placed finishers for Volkswagen were American Mark Miller and his South African co-driver Ralph Pitchford, their Race Touareg 2 finished fourth place and just over two hours behind the victorious Mitsubishi with Stephane Peterhansel as its driver.

Carlos Sousa, Volkswagen's Portuguese privateer finished seventh the event erstwhile leaders Carlos Sainz and de Villiers finished ninth and eleventh respectively. "It was a great rally for myself and the entire team. Volkswagen has claimed 10 of the 14 stage victories-when it comes to strengths of this vehicle that says it all. I feel more disappointed for the team than for myself that in the end we had no chance of winning."

The Volkswagen team's official partners are Red Bull, Castrol, BP Ultimate, BT infonet, BFGoodrich, ZF Sachs, Bosch and BBS.

Here is the result of the Dakar Rally:

1st place Stephane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) - Mitsubishi (45h 53m 37s)

2nd place Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (FRA)- Mitsubishi (+7m 26s)

3rd place Jean-Louis Schlesser/Arnaud Debron (FRA)- Schlesser (+1hr 33m 57s)

4th place Mark Miller (USA)/Ralph Pitchford (RSA)- Volkswagen (+2h 10m 16s)

7th place Carlos Sousa (POR)/Andreas Schultz (GER)- Volkswagen (+5h 10m 54s)

9th place Carlos Sainz (ESP)/Michel Perin (FRA)- Volkswagen (+7h 25m 45s)

11th place Giniel de Villiers (RSA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (GER)- Volkswagen (+8h 44m 34s)