Due to continuing rehabilitation
Volkswagen Motorsport must do without its Technical Director Eduard Weidl at the 2006 Dakar Rally.
Due to continuing rehabilitation, the 40-year old Weidl, responsible for the engineering at Volkswagen Motorsport since 1999, can not
accompany the desert classic starting on 31 December in Lisbon. Eduard Weidl, who was responsible for the design and development of the "Dakar” prototype Race Touareg, was infected by a severe bacterial infection at the end of October.
"Obviously, the absence of our Technical Director Eddi Weidl is a bitter blow. However, his health has absolute priority. The entire Volkswagen Motorsport team wishes him a speedy recovery. Eddi will fly to the finish in Dakar – and we are looking forward to seeing him again there”, explains Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. "As a matter of course we have restructured the team and distributed the responsibilities and work of Eddi Weidl among several people.”
Eduard Weidl: "Unfortunately, I'll be unable to support the team on location during the ‘Dakar'. I'll be living every move from Germany; will follow the rally in the Internet and help by telephone whenever necessary and if it is at all possible. I'll keep my fingers crossed and firmly believe that we have a realistic chance of winning with the Race Touareg 2.”
It is still unsure whether engine boss Donatus Wichelhaus can follow the complete Dakar Rally in a Service-Touareg. A slipped-disc has hindered the 43-year old for several weeks now. Kris Nissen: "Donatus will start by doing the two European stages. The decision will then be made as to whether he can also make the full ‘Dakar' distance.”
Volkswagen Motorsport receives the support of Phoenix Racing (Meuspath/Nürburgring) for the entry of the fifth Race Touareg 2. Six Phoenix mechanics have been assisting during the car build for many weeks and will also be in action at the ‘Dakar'. In addition to coordinating his mechanics the Phoenix team boss Ernst Moser is also the race-engineer for the Race Touareg driven by American Mark Miller.
Volkswagen Motorsport, winner of the 2005 FIA Cross Country World Cup, competes with five new Race Touareg 2 prototypes for Jutta Kleinschmidt/Fabrizia Pons, Bruno Saby/Michel Périn, Carlos Sainz/Andy Schulz, Giniel de Villiers/Tina Thörner and Mark Miller/Dirk von Zitzewitz at the 28th running of the Dakar Rally from 31 December to 15 January.
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport