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Volkswagen Race Touareg survives acid test in Morocco

Flooded tracks, enormous boulders and muddy water splashes - at the tests in Morocco, the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 was more than a match for the severest tracks. Heavy rain fall just before the test started caused unusual conditions around the desert oasis Erfoud and a change in the scheduled test programme as a result. "The weather didn’t play along with our wishes on the first days", explained Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "We reacted immediately and adapted our test programme accordingly to get the best out of the situation. We didn’t even have any nasty surprises with the Race Touareg through the deep water-splashes and in the mud. Both test cars ran absolutely without problems."

The Volkswagen works team intensified its preparations even further for the Dakar Rally (6 - 21 January 2007) with the nine-day test in Morocco. Volkswagen factory driver Giniel de Villiers (South Africa) and his co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz (Germany) concentrated on reeling-off as many kilometres as possible during the so-called long-runs. The works pair received support from Finnish rally ace Ari Vatanen. The four-time Dakar winner, who had previously tested the Volkswagen Race Touareg in July, also completed endurance runs.

The Volkswagen factor pairing of Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (Spain/France) and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/South Africa) tested, among other things, various suspension components in a second Volkswagen Race Touareg 2. "We were able to confirm the test results, collected during an intensive test made in deep sand and in camel grass in Tunisia in July, on firm, hard and also on muddy surfaces. We are very satisfied with the results", summarised Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen of the results collected. "This test was a good step in the right direction; however, the test programme is in no way finished."

The 2007 Dakar Rally starts on 6 January in Lisbon. With Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz, Carlos Sainz and Michel Périn and Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford three of Volkswagen’s factory pairings for the 15-day desert marathon are confirmed. The occupants of the fourth Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 are still to be confirmed.

2006/09/25 | 10:37 CET | Editor: MR/Volkswagen Press

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