12 days till the 2009 Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile

The American way of drive: Volkswagen factory driver Mark Miller

Wolfsburg (22 December 2008). Team player, multitalented off-road driver and genuine racer: Mark Miller starts the forthcoming Dakar Rally as one of the Volkswagen factory driver. When the US American tackles the desert classic on its premiere in Argentina and Chile with one of the four Race Touaregs on 03 January in Buenos Aires he trusts his distinct psychological strength. He approaches his job in off-road rallying in an extremely concentrated, fully committed and, at the same time, relaxed manner. The results of this professional attitude to date: fourth place for example in the 2007 Dakar Rally, which he finished as best placed Volkswagen driver or second place in the Rally dos Sertões in Brazil in June 2008 -- including three stage victories in the Race Touareg. His outings in the legendary Baja 1000, which he contested for the first time in 2008 with a Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg TDI specifically developed to comply with the SCORE regulations, were also crowned with success: Two overall victories in 2003 and 2004 are credited to the professional born in Phoenix/Arizona. "It's a real benefit to have him in our 'Dakar' squad," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "He lives and breathes this sport 100 per cent every day and is highly professional."

Mark Millers goal for the "Dakar" premiere in South America: "Quite obviously victory," says the American, who attaches great value to the next sentence: "But the most important thing is that a Volkswagen wins at the end. I will do everything to achieve this and if required drive solely for the team. One of my strengths is that I never target unrealistic goals and therefore do not put myself under unnecessary pressure, but a 'Dakar' win is the dream of every driver who competes. With Volkswagen and the fully-developed and reliable Race Touareg I have the opportunity to achieve this."

Miller is regarded as a talented all-rounder. In 1979 he contested the SCORE off-road series in his homeland on a motorbike for the first time was successful on tarmac in the NASCAR Truck series and celebrated several wins in the Trophy Truck classification of the famous Baja 1000 and Baja 500 rallies. "The best decision I ever made was to become a professional racing driver. I just should have made it earlier," says Miller. As a youth he sacrificed a career as motorbike racer to study. The Volkswagen factory driver, who belongs to the team since 2005, now goes in the other direction. The investment manager withdrew from the business several years ago to concentrate entirely on his motorsport activities.

In addition to intensive fitness training, in his spare time Miller looks to balance the fast moving world of motorsport with fly fishing, snowmobile or motorbike enduro tours and also helicopter flying. Family life is also of great importance for the US boy. "My two sons Nick and Sam love football and I frequently watch their games."

-credit: volkswagen