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Dakar 2011: Volkswagen "blackmailing" Dakar-Organisation ASO for 2011.




The ASO - organizer of the Dakar rally - has not yet released a decision on where to take place in 2011 edition of the Dakar. This delay is due to be multiple factors, but recently a succession of events will eventually have complicated the life of Etienne Lavigne and his companions.

For some time it was public that there were two hypotheses too strong for the Dakar 2011 - or a return to Africa, through Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, or stay in Argentina and Chile. But as noted above the recent events should be very confused in this equation.

"South America" has to mourn the tragic earthquake in Chile, which has claimed hundreds of lives and left the country in chaos, with widespread destruction of public and private property, infrastructure etc. This country now faces a lengthy and costly reconstruction process, so it is certainly easier to ensure the 7 million of Euros that the ASO required to take the exam on the same site in 2010.

Now the German "Volkswagen"-Company is setting the ASO "under pressure". "We like to have a stable reglement and the Dakar back again in South America, we are not interested to go back to Africa and are not interested in the new FIA Regulation" Volkswagen-Manager Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg told in Germany. This could mean simply: "We give you the most money and if you don´t rule this sport under our terms we are out!"

Or it´s simply a wish like every team could place, but interesting in this combination. On the other hand, the Volkswagen Company never had better results in Motorsport then in Dakar Rally, so why stop this? Rumors said, Volkswagen will start inside the WRC - a new career.

But - it´s also the discussion like in every year. What will Volkswagen do? As for Dr. Hackenberg´s descision, an Agent of the ASO answered directly: "We understand the problems of Volkswagen and their descision, not to spend more money in development of this Sport. We will talk to Volkswagen to find a solution."

Teams like X-Raid or JMB Stradale Mitsubishi "made their homework", accomplished their cars for the new 2011 Regulation. Now Volkswagen want to stop this, because they don´t want to spend more money in developing a new rallycar. Also Volkswagen is now more interested in WRC-Rally. We remember, in five years of the "real" Dakar in Africa Volkswagen wasn´t able to win the race... in South America Volkswagen was the only winner until now.

For the Company South America is an important market, also cars and trucks were produced here. As for all Work-Teams also for Volkswagen the Dakar-Rally is a giant PR-tool - and after winning two Dakar Rallies the self-given goals are "fulfilled".

But, in Africa, Libya is the problem. After a period of remission and improvement in relations between Western Europe and Tripoli, here comes a new period of tension. This amounts to a measure Switzerland, which forbade the construction of Muslim minarets within its territory. As a retaliation for the attitude of the Swiss, Muammar Gaddafi, head of the Libyan Government, declared holy war against them, and even took the administrative action to suspend issuing visas to foreigners originating in the Schengen Area, Switzerland where it is located.

There is already evidence including one damaged by this attitude, which is the Libya Rally, whose European participants eagertoday leave the port of Genova and Marseille - but not to Libya, they combinde their rally with the German "Libya Rally Raid" (which should be held in same time) and is now running in Tunisia.

With all this, the ASO should not be living easy days, because the alternatives contain problems. In Chile, the natural disaster that destroyed part of the country, Libya and the diplomatic war of religion, and thirdly, to returning to the traditional route towards Dakar Senegal can not be used due to groups of armed bandits, who the beginning of this year damaged the Budapest Bamako Rally, and are a constant threat to the safety of people (and assets) that are part of the caravan rally.

2010/03/07 | 01:19 CET | Editor: MR/HS/TODOTERRENO.PT











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