Dakar: Peter Utoft - Volkswagen Motorsport interview

Three questions to Peter Utoft, Team-Manager Volkswagen Motorsport What is the secret of successfully preparing and organising an event for 78 team members in the desert? "We drafted a detail plan in advance of the Dakar Rally, from which it...

Three questions to Peter Utoft, Team-Manager Volkswagen Motorsport

What is the secret of successfully preparing and organising an event for 78 team members in the desert?

"We drafted a detail plan in advance of the Dakar Rally, from which it was apparent where every team member should be during the event and for which task they are responsible. During the rally we only adjust this plan to suit the actual events. Also, we did a great deal to increase the motivation of each team member and their personal responsibility -- which we achieved. An excellent atmosphere runs throughout the entire team."

What was the most difficult task of the 2007 Dakar Rally for you?

"Planning the stage from Tan Tan in Morocco to Zouerat in Mauritania was very complicated and required exact detailed coordination, because the accompanying armada could only start after the rally cars because of the border crossing into Mauritania. As a result, the technicians arrived in the bivouac much later than the Race Touaregs. The team were faced with a long night and an early start into the next stage from Zouerat to Atar."

To what extent has the structure of the team changed since the 2006 Dakar Rally?

"Some of the changes in the team are the result of experience gained from the previous years. For example, we hired additional specialist in the areas of logistic and travel planning to strengthen the team. We also modified how the bivouac is built-up to make sure some of the procedures run more fluidly. We place a great deal more value on each individual team member getting sufficient sleep during this long and stressful rally to keep them fit."

-credit: vw motorsport

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About this article
Series Dakar
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport