|South-America-Dakar: Volkswagen welcomes demanding route of 2011 rally.|
The legendary pampas, the Atacama desert and the dizzying altitudes in the Andes: title defender Volkswagen sees itself confronted with an even tougher route of the "South-America-Dakar" Rally from 02 to 15 January 2011. Volkswagen had decided each of the two past "South-America-Dakar" Rallies events in South America in January 2009 and 2010 with the Race Touareg in its favour and is thus the only automobile manufacturer to have won the marathonrally with diesel technology.
"We welcome the new route of which we´ve now gotten a first foretaste," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "In view of even more demanding sand passages in the Atacama desert and a route that leads even farther towards the north into so far unknown regions the A.S.O. as the organiser of the "South-America-Dakar" has more than stuck to its principles in this respect for the 2011 event again. Our biggest rival continues to be the rally itself, but we shouldn´t underestimate our sporting rivals either."
Far into the sandy depths of the Atacama desert, at high speed through "La Pampa" and all the way up to the borders of Bolivia and Peru: The 2011 "South-America-Dakar" route again delivers its typical superlatives. In 2011 the contenders will be in for a new adventure of even more varied desert passages. Besides featuring new classics like the white dunes of Fiambalá, the route scheduled before the only rest day will run up to the Peruvian border of Chile to the town of Arica and thus into a totally new type of desert for the first time.
But before, the rally´s start in Argentina´s metropolis Buenos Aires with built-in goose bump guarantee will be on the agenda. In 2009 and 2010 the ceremonial start marked one of many emotional highlights. The first special stage of the 2011 "South-America-Dakar" will take place on 02 January 2011 between Victoria and Córdoba and feature somewhat well-known terrain for those who contested the event in previous years. Immediately afterwards, though, the rally will enter new off-road territory.
Through the mountain ranges and plateaus of the Sierras Pampeanas the route will lead via San Miguel de Tucumán to San Salvador de Jujuy - to new stage destinations and high up to the Argentine-Bolivian border. Along the Paso de Jama the rally armada will cross the Andes into Chile. Calama and Iquique which has been known as a component from 2010 - with its breathtaking arrival at the finish - form the final two stations before Arica which marks the northernmost point of all three "South-America-Dakar" rallies so far.
Not until after the only rest day in Arica on 8 January 2011 will the competitive stages in the north of Argentina and Chiles be followed by familiar terrain and previously known towns at the end of the stages: Antofagasta and Copiapó mark the end of the legs in Chile. After the crossing of the San Francisco pass in the Andes back to Argentina Fiambalá, San Juan and Córdoba will be further towns at the end of the stages until, ultimately, on 15 January 2011 between Córdoba and Buenos Aires the participants will be determined and cheered by an emotional crowd on arriving in the metropolis with a population of three million.
2010/04/30 | 10:35 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/MOSER