Rally dos Sertoes: Volkswagen facts and figures of event

Facts and figures on the Volkswagen one-two win in Brazil Wolfsburg. With the one-two win clinched by Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (RSA/D) and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/RSA), Volkswagen celebrated a successful Brazilian debut at...

Facts and figures on the Volkswagen one-two win in Brazil

Wolfsburg. With the one-two win clinched by Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (RSA/D) and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/RSA), Volkswagen celebrated a successful Brazilian debut at the Rally dos Sertoes. During the exploratory tour of this new motorsport territory at racing speed, the two Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 vehicles, their drivers and the entire team discovered interesting details both on and off the rally tracks. Here are some facts and figures on the Rally dos Sertoes:

Did you know that --

-- Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen stopped in the United States on his way to the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil in order to get a first-hand impression "on location" about the development of the Touareg prototype for the Baja 1000? Volkswagen plans to field this vehicle in the legendary event in Mexico in November. In addition, attendance of the American Jetta TDI Cup and a visit with the President of Volkswagen USA, Stefan Jacoby, was on the agenda.

-- that Volkswagen do Brasil provided logistical support to the rally activities of Volkswagen Motorsport and has a major part in the one-two victory? In addition to the service trucks sent from Germany by ship, the fleet was augmented by T5 busses and Volkswagen Cross Fox vehicles typically used in Brazil.

-- that Volkswagen is one of the two most successful automotive brands in Brazil?

-- that a relatively small squad of only 34 team members was on location in Brazil and that the team in Wolfsburg was simultaneously preparing a test of several days in Morocco to be run after the Rally dos Sertoes?

-- Volkswagen at the Rally dos Sertoes celebrated the Race Touareg's ninth overall victory? Since 2004, the diesel-powered prototype has contested 23 cross-country rally events.

-- Volkswagen has not been beaten yet in 2008? At both the Central Europe Rally through Hungary and Romania in April (Carlos Sainz/Michel Perin) and the Rally dos Sertoes (Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz) a Volkswagen driver clinched overall victory. At five events since 2007, Volkswagen won four times.

-- Volkswagen's track record of stage finishes is still impeccable in 2008 as well? 18 of 18 possible stage wins went to Wolfsburg.

-- that the first place clinched by de Villiers/von Zitzewitz and the second place clinched by Miller/Pitchford were the 27th and 28th podium places for Volkswagen in cross-country rally racing?

-- that the biggest gap within a leg of the Rally dos Sertoes between the two Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 vehicles was merely 5.01 minutes, and the smallest only one second?

-- that the time difference at ten legs was less than one minute three times? Which proves the thrilling duel within the team.

-- that the fastest stage on the fifth leg was completed by Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford at an average speed of 153 kph, the slowest on the eighth day by Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz at 71 kph?

-- that the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 was lovingly nicknamed "Blue Frog" by the local Brazilian population due to its distinctive external appearance and was the "talk of the town" whenever it was running through the towns of the finishing locations?

-- that the Rally dos Sertoes led through six provinces of Brazil? From Goias, the route led through Tocantins, Maranhão, Piaui, Ceara and Rio Grande do Norte.

-- that the service trucks completed a much longer route through Brazil than the two Race Touareg vehicles? By ship, the mobile garages, including spare parts, landed in Sao Paulo. From there, they went to the starting location of Goiânia. Via the service route, the trucks covered a distance of approximately 6,000 kilometres to the finish in Natal on the Atlantic coast. 3,000 additional kilometres followed on the return trip to Sao Paulo. That made the distance of 9,000 kilometres covered by the trucks twice as long as the 4,500 offroad kilometres completed by the Race Touareg cars.

-- that the sentinel system used in cross-country rally racing to warn drivers that quicker vehicles want to overtake was not used in Brazil? Instead, the crews used radios to communicate with each other.

-- that the Volkswagen drivers made use of these communications on some of the legs? The command "Toregi", however, did not mean "get out of the way" but equates to the transcription of the word Touareg into Portuguese, which was sufficiently prestigious to enable overtaking.

-- that on these occasions the teams being passed often wished the Volkswagen crews good luck for the remainder of the stage?

-- that the Volkswagen drivers praised the roadbook of the Rally dos Sertoes for its level of detail?

-- that the roadbooks for all legs comprised 650 pages showing 4,500 pictures with information which the co-driver had to pass on to the driver?

-- that Dirk von Zitzewitz when preparing his roadbook uses eight different colours for marking and spends an average of three hours on the preparation?

-- that Dirk von Zitzewitz and Giniel de Villiers can communicate in German in the cockpit if necessary? Giniel de Villiers' mother tongue is Afrikaans, which is derived from Dutch. Phonetically, "left" and "right" are identical to German in that language.

-- that the Rally dos Sertoes was the second longest rally for Volkswagen after the Dakar?

-- that the rally lasted for ten days with tough special stages - without a day of rest? In this intensive form, this was a new experience for the mechanics and drivers.

-- that the routes of the Rally dos Sertoes featured about 40 water passages, many of them with a depth of up to one metre. The longest had a length of about 150 metres. For comparison: the "Dakar" merely has water passages in the single-digit range.

-- that the share of 2,714.5 kilometres of special stages of the total distance of 4,511 kilometres equates to 54 percent?

-- that 60 journalists and seven national TV channels reported about the Rally dos Sertoes?

-credit: volkswagen-motorsport.com

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About this article
Series Cross-Country Rally
Drivers Mark Miller , Carlos Sainz , Giniel de Villiers , Ralph Pitchford , Kris Nissen
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport