Safety has priority: Volkswagen respects "Dakar" cancellation
It is with great regret that Volkswagen acknowledges the cancellation of the 30th Dakar Rally.
"The safety of every single participant has absolute priority and for this reason Volkswagen completely and utterly endorses the decision made by the organisers ASO to cancel the start of the Dakar Rally originally scheduled for 5 January," explains Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member with responsibility for Technical Development at Volkswagen. "We are obviously very unhappy about the cancellation, since we prepared for this rally for an entire year and were extremely well equipped for this sporting challenge."
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen underlines: "We fully respect the decision for safety purposes, which also have absolute priority for us. The cancellation is a great disappointment for every member of the Volkswagen Motorsport team, particularly as everybody was looking forward to starting this fair sporting competition."
At midday on Friday, 4 January 2008 the "Dakar" organisers ASO officially announced that the rally will be not be held due to the significant safety concerns voiced by the French Government regarding the stages in Mauritania. The start of the 30th Dakar Rally was scheduled for 5 January 2008 in Lisbon. The "Dakar" should have finished, as is tradition, after 15 stages and approximately 9,300 kilometres in the Senegalese capital city on 20 January.