The rally of superlatives
When Volkswagen takes the start in Buenos Aires on 3 January the "Dakar” experiences a genuine premiere: After 29 expeditions through the heart of Africa, crossing Argentina and Chile is on the route plan for the first time for the four Race Touareg
2 and their competitors. However, regardless of whether it is 1979 or 2009: The "Dakar” was and is a rally of superlatives at any time.
When in winter 1978/79 as many as 182 competitors set off along the 10,000 kilometre route from France via Algeria, Niger, Mali and the former Upper Volta to Senegal and a mere 20 journalists covered the event it was hardly possible to perceive the level of importance and scale that the rally would one day achieve. More than 13,000 men and women have participated in the "Dakar” since then. Over 550 journalists cover the start and finish from Buenos Aires this coming January. The television coverage from South America alone reaches people in 189 countries.
The Dakar Rally also generates record numbers in the background: In 1980 Volkswagen started with four almost production specification Iltis, today the Volkswagen team navigates approximately 50 tonnes of spare parts, tools and equipment and also the responsible engineers and technicians through South America to support the four Race Touareg 2. Instead of Volkswagen's clinical workshop in Germany their place of work is a 2,200 square metre camp that is erected every evening beneath the stars at the end of the corresponding stage.