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Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 in Brazil

Commanding one-two win for Volkswagen: At the Rally dos Sertões the factory duos Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz as well as Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford captured first and second place overall.
Volkswagen Race Touareg 2
The Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 powered by a 280-hp TDI diesel engine thus managed a successful maiden race in Brazil. On the tenth and last leg from Mossoró to Natal, de Villiers/von Zitzewitz reached the finish on the Atlantic coast as the stage winners yet again, while Miller/Pitchford finished the stage in fourth place. All of the ten possible stage wins at this extremely varied and demanding rally across a total distance of 4,500 kilometres across Brazil thus went to the “Dakar” prototype from Wolfsburg. This overall victory and second-place finish increase the tally of the Race Touareg sporting the distinctive, blue Red Bull livery to nine overall wins and a total of 28 podium places at 23 races since 2004.

For Volkswagen, the Rally dos Sertões marked another step in its preparation for the 2009 Dakar Rally, which will lead through Argentina and Chile from 03 to 18 January. After the desert classic, the 10-leg rally across Brazil has been the second-longest for the Volkswagen squad, which ventured onto new territory in terms of the geographic location as well as from a sporting perspective. The cross-country rally through Brazil held new types of routes in store for both driver pairings and put drivers and co-drivers to the test with technically demanding terrain and difficult navigation. In addition to fast sections across service roads, slow, trial-like rocky passages and slippery mud, the rally’s profile featured extremely deep water passages. The highly demanding routes thus posed a new challenge for Volkswagen and the entire team.

After winning the prologue and clinching seven subsequent stage victories, Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz took the overall lead from the outset, with the Volkswagen drivers competing against seasoned local rivals. With three stage wins and consistently high speed, Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford constantly maintained contact to their team-mates. However, due to a 48-minute time penalty after a delayed start to the penultimate special stage, they were deprived of the chance to fight a direct duel with them. Nevertheless, the advantage of the factory teams at the finish was significant: In the end, after 4,500 kilometres, overall winners de Villiers/von Zitzewitz were three, and runners-up Miller/Pitchford two hours ahead of the third-placed local Mitsubishi team Reinaldo Varela/Marcos Macedo.

© Source: germancarscene
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