In Central Europe Rally
Volkswagen will field five Race Touareg vehicles in the Central Europe Rally leading through Hungary and Romania from 20 to 26 April. In addition, Volkswagen in the 2008 season will enter two factory vehicles in the cross-country "Rallye dos Sertoes”
in Brazil from 18 to 28 June and intensively prepare for the 2009 Dakar Rally to be run through Argentina and Chile for the first time from 03 to 18 January.
"The Central Europe Rally represents a new challenge in cross-country rally sport, and we look forward to this challenge. We will field four factory vehicles and enter a fifth Race Touareg for the customer team Lagos,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "After the cancellation of the ‘Dakar' in January our team is extremely motivated to show our strong performance capabilities. The new rally gives us an interesting and demanding platform for this.” After starting in Budapest on 20 April, the rally will be run over a 3,000-kilometre distance through Hungary and Romania and will end at Lake Balaton on 26 April.
Preparation for ASO rally with tests in Hungary
Volkswagen will field the five Race Touareg 2 vehicles originally planned for the 30th running of the Dakar Rally that was cancelled at short notice due to terrorist threat warnings.
The four-wheel-drive prototypes powered by 280-hp TDI diesel engines will be driven by the 2007 cross-country world cup winners Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (Spain/France) as well as by Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (South Africa/Germany), Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/South Africa) and by Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk (Germany/Germany). The cockpit of the Lagos Touareg will be occupied by Carlos Sousa/Andreas Schulz (Portugal/Germany). The preparations for the Central Europe Rally will include tests in Hungary.
The Central Europe Rally will be organised by the ASO, the French organiser of the Dakar Rally. With regard to organisation, safety/security and marketing, the new ASO rally in Hungary and Romania is to be on a par with the standards of the Dakar Rally. Kris Nissen: "We welcome the decision of the ASO to offer the Central Europe Rally as another opportunity to engage in top-calibre cross-country rally sport in addition to the highlight of the season, the traditional Dakar Rally.”