17 days till the 2009 Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile

Above the clouds: Race Touareg on the way to Argentina

Wolfsburg (17 December 2008). By airfreight to Argentina: The four Volkswagen Race Touareg for the Dakar Rally are on the way to Buenos Aires, the start and finish point of the rally classic between 03 and 18 January 2009. The cargo machines took off on Monday and Wednesday from Amsterdam (NL) each with two rally cars on board. As a result the Volkswagen team's preparation is now finished -- now only 17 days remain before the start of the Dakar Rally the world's toughest and longest cross country rally.

"The transport of the four Race Touaregs finally concludes the long and intensive preparation for the Dakar Rally. Now we can long forward to a pleasant festive period and leave for Argentina before the New Year," explains Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. "We expect intense competition and a thrilling 'Dakar' premiere in South America. Every Volkswagen team member is excited and motivated to tackle this huge challenge."

The preliminary preparation for the transport by aircraft was made at Hanover airport: The 280 hp Race Touaregs were fastened to special airfreight pallets equipped with all the necessary freight documentation, partially sealed before being brought by truck to Amsterdam Schiphol, where they were loaded in pairs in the McDonnell-Douglas MD11 freight machines. The approximately 1,900 kilogram rally cars started for their near 14-hour flight to Buenos Aires precisely fixed between thoroughbred horses and computer electronics.

"Shipping the Race Touaregs by airfreight to Argentina has one major advantage: We save an enormous amount of time," says Lutz Meyer, responsible for the rally logistics at Volkswagen Motorsport. "After our Race Trucks and service vehicles had to leave for South America by sea at the end of November we were able to prepare the rally cars in peace and quiet without time pressure."

Volkswagen Motorsport employees are already in Argentina to receive the rally cars immediately after they arrive. Afterwards, the four Race Touaregs are brought to the Volkswagen factory in Pacheco situated in the suburbs of Buenos Aires where the motorsport team can use the resources in spacious workshops. The renewed cooperation with Volkswagen Argentinia S.A. could be a good omen: In 2005 the Race Touareg scored its first ever overall victory in the Rally Por las Pampas.

-credit: vw