Dakar: Dieter Depping - Volkswagen Motorsport interview

Three questions to Dieter Depping, driver of a race truck in the Volkswagen team As a three-time German Rally Champion you're making your debut in the race truck. How are you feeling at the halfway point? "I'm surprised because I hadn't...

Three questions to Dieter Depping, driver of a race truck in the Volkswagen team

As a three-time German Rally Champion you're making your debut in the race truck. How are you feeling at the halfway point?

"I'm surprised because I hadn't expected to be in for such a rough and bumpy ride at the wheel of a race truck. In the beginning I was having a difficult time driving through dry rivers and across heavy rocks at 20 kph -- in classical rally sport this is impossible. Another new thing for me was to be driving through the dust kicked up by the other vehicles. Then, in Morocco, I had a really great duel with the truck of the Mitsubishi team. I followed it for more than 150 kilometres and waited for the perfect time to overtake it."

How did you prepare for this rally?

"This is my first time driving a truck in a competition. Before that, during test drives in Tunisia, I drove a truck on sand and already feel very comfortable with the vehicle."

The race trucks are seen as "blue angels", you're allowed to rush out to help the Race Touareg 2 contenders during the competition. Have you been called yet?

"Fortunately, the four Race Touareg 2 vehicles have not needed our help yet. We merely pulled one of the race trucks of our team that had gotten stuck out of the sand. Still, we maintain a high level of concentration. Our mission is very demanding because we have to be very quick in order to deliver help swiftly, if necessary, but at the same time we must not take any risks ourselves. On the marathon leg we'll be the only service allowed on the evening of 14 January."

-credit: vw motorsport

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Dieter Depping
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport