Successful test in Tunisia for Volkswagen Race Touareg

Wolfsburg (15 June 2007) Volkswagen has continued its preparations for the 2008
Dakar Rally with ten-day tests in Tunisia. During the tests the factory team
gathered valuable experience for the classic event in the discipline of
cross-country rallies that will kick off in Lisbon on 5 January 2008. “We had ten
outstanding days of testing. At temperatures between 35 and 42 degrees, weather
conditions were ideal. It was exactly what we were looking for. In extremely
difficult track conditions we made another step in the right direction both in terms
of reliability and performance,” Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen said
with satisfaction.
In Ksar Ghilane in South Tunisia two Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 vehicles were used
for testing. With the first car, the main focus was on reliability that was tested
in long runs. The Race Touareg powered by a 285-hp five-cylinder TDI diesel engine
was driven by the four driver/co-driver pairings Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford
(USA/RSA), Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F), Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz
(RSA/D) and Carlos Sousa/Andy Schulz (P/D) as well as by the test crew Dieter
Depping/Timo Gottschalk (D/D). "Everything went well, without any problems
whatsoever. We didn’t encounter anything that was unexpected and were therefore able
to complete more than one ’Dakar’ distance,” explained Kris Nissen.

With the second Race Touareg, driven by Carlos Sainz and Giniel de Villiers, the
main focus was on the evolution of the chassis and suspension. "Particularly in
terms of the dampers, wheels and differentials we achieved notable progress," stated
Kris Nissen. "Owing to the positive results, we were able to use the new components
at the end of the tests during the long runs as well."

The tracks in Tunisia resembled the difficult conditions during the Dakar Rally.
Long sectors of camel grass, treacherous sand dunes and tracks with a hard, dry
surface primarily corresponded to the demanding special stages in Mauritania. "I am
happy that everything worked so well and that the entire squad did an outstanding
job too. That is particularly rewarding as, parallel to these tests, we mastered a
strenuous programme of mammoth proportions with the victory clinched by Carlos Sainz
and Michel Périn in the World Cup season opener, the Rally Transibérico in Portugal,
the widely noted exploit in the North American Baja 500 as well as by eighth place
overall and class victory in the 24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring,” said Kris Nissen
with respect to the positive results achieved across the board in the past
fortnight.

Posted in | Submitted by deviantspeed on Fri, 2007-06-15 16:13.
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