Dakar: Dirk von Zitzewitz - Volkswagen Motorsport interview

Three questions to co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz How would you describe the two Portuguese stages that opened the rally? "The tracks were very physical for us, but also much tougher for the Race Touareg 2 than we had expected. We were well ...

Three questions to co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz

How would you describe the two Portuguese stages that opened the rally?

"The tracks were very physical for us, but also much tougher for the Race Touareg 2 than we had expected. We were well shaken in the deep sand and pot-holes. I actually thought that the start would be a little gentler on us."

What specific tasks does the co-driver have on the Dakar Rally's European stages?

"We attempted to help the drivers more as you would in a typical rally. Although arrows marked the turns and junctions, we read the information from the road book. Particularly as the signs were often placed just over a blind crest where the driver couldn't see them, which is why the drivers needed urgent instructions. On the other hand, from today on we carry out classic navigation and send the driver the right way down the routes in Africa."

How did you actually prepare for the rally?

"For a co-driver I undertook a very intensive fitness programme, which included time on a cross-trainer in the fitness studio and improved my stamina by jogging. I lost nine kilos to get down to my 'fighting weight'. On the opening stages I noticed that it was well worth the effort, since the additional physical stress and strain didn't affect me."

-credit: vw motorsport

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About this article
Series Dakar
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport