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Baja 1000: Volkswagen develops Touareg TDI for famous Rally

In the 2008 motorsport season, Volkswagen of America, Inc. will start contesting the popular U.S. off-road racing series SCORE with a Touareg TDI. The Touareg TDI will be developed specifically for the extremely tough demands of the Mexican peninsula Baja California, which, since 1967, has been the annual venue of the most famous event of this kind - the Baja 1000. The Volkswagen prototype will be prepared for the "SCORE Trophy Truck Open Production - Unlimited Class".

"Volkswagen’s history in off-road racing dates back to the first Baja 1000 in 1967," stressed Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "In the world famous Dakar Rally, which at a length of 9,000 kilometres over 15 legs is the most demanding offroad competition of all, as well as in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb Race and in the Baja 500 in June 2007 Volkswagen achieved remarkable results. These experiences, which we gained with innovative diesel engines in the various offroad vehicles, are helping us to build a Touareg TDI prototype that will master the very special challenge of a Baja and thrill the enthusiastic American audience."

Sal Fish, President and CEO of SCORE International, who recently paid a visit to Volkswagen Motorsport in Germany, welcomes the commitment: "Over the past 40 years, Volkswagen’s vehicles and technology had a significant impact on how the SCORE Baja events basically developed. We look forward to the future of this partnership and also to clean diesel technology making its way into our sport." With 13 victories since 1967, Volkswagen has shaped the Baja 1000 as one of the leading engine manufacturers, particularly in the first two decades. To this day, several classes of the non-stop race across the Baja California peninsula are specifically reserved for Volkswagen models as well as for vehicles with Volkswagen components.

The driver line-up for the Touareg TDI prototype that is supposed to make its début at the end of 2008 has been determined already: Mark Miller from Arizona, Volkswagen factory driver since 2005, who, in fourth place overall finished the Dakar Rally in January 2007 as the best of the factory drivers, is part of this motorsport programme, as is his compatriot Ryan Arciero. In addition, Miller at the wheel of a Volkswagen Race Touareg was the best driver of a diesel-powered vehicle at the Baja 500 in June. Arciero in a production-derived Touareg V10 TDI in the "Alternative Fuel Diesel Truck High-Performance Showroom Stock division" set a new record in the world famous Pikes Peak Hillclimb Race in July.

2007/11/13 | 13:12 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Volkswagen

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