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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









Dakar 2009: 500,000 spectators celebrate Teams at Dakar start.




Unadulterated enthusiasm: The Dakar Participants drivers experienced an atmospheric opening to the Dakar Rally as they drove over the start ramp in Buenos Aires on the evening of 2 January. Half-a-million enthusiastic spectators lining the "Avenida 9 de Julio" - the world’s widest major road - in the heart of the Argentine capital gave the Volkswagen drivers a rousing send-off during the ceremonial start to the 9,500 kilometre long rally classic. Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F), Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D), Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) and Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk (D/D) contest the world’s toughest motorsport cross country event with four Race Touaregs between the 3 and 18 January.

The impressive setting also inspired Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Technical Development, and Wolfgang Hatz, Head of Group Powertrain Development in the Volkswagen group. The first competitive stage and opening 622 kilometres of the "Dakar" are on the agenda on Saturday with the route from Buenos Aires to Santa Rosa de la Pampa. The rally also finishes in Buenos Aires on 18 January after a total of 14 stages across the most varied terrain, crossing the Andes twice and a section through the extremely dry Atacama Desert.

"With this genuinely stunning start in such an impressive setting we have witnessed the enthusiasm of the South Americans for the Dakar Rally," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "The real sporting business opens on Saturday. I´m convinced that the spectators on location and sitting in front of the television will see a very exciting race. It´ll be worthwhile following every minute of the action."

2009/01/03 | 14:17 CET | Editor: MR/HS/U.Baldes






















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