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Three questions for Andreas Lautner, Technical Director
In the Team Volkswagen Motorsport
Even before the « Dakar », today's special stage around Copiapó was considered the pinnacle of all the legs.

What made it so special from a technical point of view ?

« Today's leg led through huge dune fields with special characteristics.
For one, the dune crests here are very sharp-edged and unpredictable, and for the other, the sand in the Atacama desert is particularly soft. I think that our choice of tyre - the BFGoodrich All Terrain - was a good one for this. In addition, power, in other words torque, is a crucial factor - and our TDI engine has plenty of that. »

Looking back at the first ten legs, what special aspects of the « Dakar » premiere in South America have been particularly attractive in terms of technology ?

« Particularly in Argentina, but in Chile as well, the terrain kept changing several times every day on the various legs. This meant we had to find a good compromise for the set-up of the vehicles. But we prepared for this very well during our tests in Morocco where we had a good prerequisites for simulating the conditions here in South America – soft sand and dune passages or hard gravel stretches. »

The Race Touareg has proved to be a reliable as well as fast vehicle at this « Dakar ». What was the top technological priority of the development project ?

« The best idea was to reduce the evolution of the Race Touareg to detailed work and to increase our focus on the newly established quality assurance, and to feed the findings from that area into the preparation of the vehicles.
We only use components that have been tested a hundred per cent in the « Dakar ». This has given us the - hopefully - crucial advantage in this extremely tough test of material.»



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