Swapping cars and roles
Asphalt instead of desert sand, a steering wheel instead of the road book: Volkswagen factory driver Giniel de Villiers and his co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz will be competing as guest entrants in rounds four and five of the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup
at Oschersleben (19-21 May).
The two offroad experts forming a successful marathon rally team in the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 will be making their debut as mutual rivals. While Giniel de Villiers as a four-time touring car champion in his native South Africa has plenty of circuit racing experience, the German Dirk von Zitzewitz will be venturing onto truly new territory in this exceptional role change. Prior to this, de Villiers and von Zitzewitz will be contesting the Rally Transibérico – the third round of the FIA Marathon Rally World Cup (12-15 May) – together through Portugal and Spain.
« In marathon rally sport Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz must deliver perfect team-work while in the touring car each is completely on his own. I wish both of them a lot of fun in this unusual comparison – because that's exactly what this is supposed to be all about, » says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen, prefacing the contest.
Giniel de Villiers, runner-up in the Dakar Rally in January and, with Dirk von Zitzewitz as his co-driver, runner-up, as well, in the Tunisia Rally in April, will be swapping his Race Touareg for a 150-hp Racing Polo sporting the “Dakar“ livery. « I'm really looking forward to the weekend in the Polo Cup.
Last year, already, I was able to compete in the ‘touring car school' and it was great fun, » says the 34-year-old driver from Stellenbosch, who clinched eighth place in his previous guest stint in the Polo Cup. « As an alleged ‘veteran' I will thoroughly enjoy the duels with the many young drivers – in rally sport, the competition is seldom as extremely close as this, » says de Villiers.
Dirk von Zitzewitz is looking forward to his touring car racing debut after getting to know the circuit in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben during test drives. « The differences between offroad sport and circuit racing are tremendous. While heavy drifting is the rule in one of these two disciplines, a clean line is called for in the Racing Polo. And on gravel slicks don't work all that well anyway, » reports the Northern German with a twinkle in his eye. « I'm very keen on this experience. No doubt Giniel will be quicker than I – if not, then perhaps I should take over the driving in the Race Touareg, as well, » continues the 37- year-old who will be at the wheel of a Racing Polo sporting the colours of Volkswagen Motorsport partner Castrol.
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport