From the Volkswagen bivouac
After the Volkswagen works team had spent the nights in hotels on the European stages, the first bivouac was set up after the third stage in Er Rachidia, Morocco. The majority of the team members slept in one-man tents and suffered a cold opening
night in Africa: The temperature dropped to a frosty three degrees below zero. However, the team was rewarded with clear skies, bright sunshine and temperatures of 15 degrees Celsius.
Rapid Race-Trucks After the first three stages the Volkswagen Race-Truck with drivers Klaus Leihener/Thomas Baumann/Thorsten Goldberg held ninth place overall in the Truck classification. "An incredibly good result, particularly when you consider that we are actually running as a mobile emergency service for the five Race Touareg 2 prototypes and our truck is heavier and less powerful than the pure Race-Trucks”, said a pleased Klaus Leihener. "It ran absolutely perfectly.” Their team mates Josep Pujol/Lucas Cruz Senra/François Verbist were not quite so lucky - they lost time because of a faulty turbo charger but were able to continue the rally.
Home game in Morocco
The first two bivouacs of the Dakar Rally on African soil were set-up at the airports in Er Rachidia und Ouarzazate – a familiar area for the Volkswagen works team, since the team frequently heads for these two airports when testing. Just like competitor Mitsubishi, and formerly Nissan, Volkswagen tests mainly in the region around Erfoud in Morocco. However, this does not give either team an advantage for the Dakar Rally.
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport