The desert classic starts on 31 December 2005
Volkswagen greeted the 9,043 kilometre 2006 Dakar Rally route positively and with great interest as it was presented on 22 November in Paris. The 28th running of in Lisbon, Portugal and finishes after a 16 day trek in the Senegalese
capital Dakar on 15 January 2006.
The 508 competitors – including, for the first time, no fewer than five Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 challengers – expect 15 demanding stages through Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea and the Senegal. A total of 4,813 kilometres must be completed against the clock on the 15 special stages.
“The Rally starts with a pair of long stages in Europe, which is better than the very short prologue held before, because you get into a good rhythm from the word go,” explained Volkswagen works driver Jutta Kleinschmidt, who attended the presentation. Her French team mate Bruno Saby, who also followed the presentation in Paris with co-driver Michel Périn, added: "The going gets tough early on in Morocco, since the route runs further east in the shadow of the Atlas Mountains. Afterwards there is a classic, challenging route through West Africa.”
Following the Moroccan stage finishes in Er Rachidia, Ouarzazate and Tan Tan the competitors reach Mauritania on 5 January. The service points in Zouerat and Atar are followed by the rest-day in the capital Nouakchott on 8 January. Immediately afterwards the teams must complete the rally's longest leg of 599 special stage kilometres on the road to Kiffa.
The trip through Mali is capped off by two further stage finishes in Kayes and Bamako on 10 and 11 January before the rally crosses Guinea for the first time in years, where servicing is prohibited at the half-way-point in Labé on the Marathon stage held there. The final three competitive stages are on the agenda between 13 and 15 January on the run in to Dakar.
Volkswagen presents its entire team to the public on 24 November 2005 at 12.00 a.m. at the Essen Motor Show (Volkswagen stand in Hall 3). The five driver squads, Jutta Kleinschmidt/Fabrizia Pons (D/I), Mark Miller/Dirk von Zitzewitz (USA/D), Bruno Saby/Michel Périn (F/F), Carlos Sainz/Andreas Schulz (E/D) and Giniel de Villiers/Tina Thörner (RSA/S) will be presented alongside Motorsport Director Kris Nissen.
Press release Volkswagen Motorsport