Dakar: Peter Utoft - Volkswagen interview

Three questions to Team Manager Peter Utoft What has changed in the team since the 2005 "Dakar"? "The number of team personnel has grown from 62 to 78. Instead of four Volkswagen Race Touareg prototypes we have five rally cars in action. The...

Three questions to Team Manager Peter Utoft

What has changed in the team since the 2005 "Dakar"?

"The number of team personnel has grown from 62 to 78. Instead of four Volkswagen Race Touareg prototypes we have five rally cars in action. The most important thing is that we have improved the procedures due to our experience. The operational procedures are more detailed this year, to a large extent they were already established before the rally, so that only small adjustments are necessary to suit the actual circumstances during the event."

From the organisational point of view what is the challenge of the Dakar Rally?

"Our planning must guarantee that every team member is at the right place at exactly the right time. For this purpose, we must distribute 78 employees in 27 vehicles, and know at the same time where each team member is on the service-routes which are sometimes longer than 700 kilometres."

How would you summarise events leading up to the final third of the rally?

"Although the team is larger everybody has bonded extremely well with one another, the procedures are more routine and calm. Every team member must work very closely together under the toughest conditions. We know from experience that under such conditions tension can arise. However, we succeeded in knitting the team together from the word go. The atmosphere in the Volkswagen bivouac is still excellent."

-volkswagen-

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Series Dakar