9 days until the 2009 Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile

Number games: with 182 litres of water 9,578 km through

Wolfsburg (25 December 2008). 530 teams from 49 nations set off for new pastures on 3 January. This is not just figuratively but quite literally as the first Dakar Rally in South America runs not only to the Atlantic but also to the Pacific Ocean. The competitors in cars, motorbikes, quads or trucks conquer completely new terrain along the 9,500 kilometre route through Argentina and Chile. There are a huge amount of interesting facts regarding the first running of the cross country classic far away from Africa about the Volkswagen team and the four Race Touaregs for Carlos Sainz/Michel Perin (E/F), Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D), Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) and Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk (D/D).

For example, did you know that ...

... the driver and co-driver have 13 litres of water each day on board the Race Touareg and the drinking supply can even be activated at the press of a button?

... fluid is hugely important? It is summer in South America and therefore hot. Furthermore, the Atacama Desert to be crossed has 100 times less moisture than the notorious Death Valley.

... just the special stages at a combined length of 5,656 kilometres easily exceed the distance covered during an entire Formula 1 season? The longest stage covers 837 kilometres, including liaison stages the 2009 "Dakar" ends after 9,578 kilometres.

... the loading list for one Service Truck belonging to the Volkswagen teams comprises of 60 DIN A4 pages?

... on every Service Truck a tool box with 27 sets of pliers, 58 spanners and 48 screwdrivers is transported? In addition, in a personal case every mechanic carries just the tools that are absolutely necessary for his work on the Race Touareg 2.

... Volkswagen Motorsport sends a total of 23 vehicle and 80 team members to South America?

... the Volkswagen Race Touareg is already a race winner? Since its debut in 2004 it has taken nine wins, 29 podium finishes, 79 stage victories and spent 70 days in the lead in 29 starts.

... the carbon bodywork of a Race Touareg only weighs 50 kilograms? Even more impressive is the weight of the spare parts that Volkswagen carries for all for cars: 50 tons.

... the participants will be confronted with temperature differences of up to 40 degrees Celsius and altitude differences of 4,700 metres?

... the rally armada crosses eleven Argentinean and three Chilean provinces on its way through South America?

-credit: volkswagen