Dakar: Donatus Wichelhaus - Volkswagen Motorsport interview

Three questions to Donatus Wichelhaus, Head of Engine Development On the fifth leg of the Dakar Rally the route leads across the Atlas mountains in Morocco. How was the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 team prepared for extreme altitudes? "In 2006...

Three questions to Donatus Wichelhaus, Head of Engine Development

On the fifth leg of the Dakar Rally the route leads across the Atlas mountains in Morocco. How was the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 team prepared for extreme altitudes?

"In 2006 we performed a two-day high-altitude test with a test vehicle on the Großglockner to assure the operational liability of the engine in thin air conditions."

How do you conduct such a test?

"We ran the test at an altitude between 1000 and 2700 metres on a blocked road and worked out the altitude adaptation for the engine under full load."

How does the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 detect the altitude at which it operates?

"An ambient pressure sensor fitted to the engine control unit is used to detect the distance to sea level. This technology has been in use for a long time in production road cars but in racing has only been used with rallies so far."

-credit: vw motorsport

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Series Dakar
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport