Volkswagen ceremonial start notes

2009 Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile 500,000 spectators celebrate Volkswagen team at "Dakar" start Unadulterated enthusiasm: The Volkswagen drivers experienced an atmospheric opening to the Dakar Rally as they drove over the start ramp in...

2009 Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile

500,000 spectators celebrate Volkswagen team at "Dakar" start

Unadulterated enthusiasm: The Volkswagen drivers experienced an atmospheric opening to the Dakar Rally as they drove over the start ramp in Buenos Aires on the evening of 2 January. Half-a-million enthusiastic spectators lining the "Avenida 9 de Julio" -- the world's widest major road -- in the heart of the Argentine capital gave the Volkswagen drivers a rousing send-off during the ceremonial start to the 9,500 kilometre long rally classic. 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) contest the world's toughest motorsport cross country event with four Race Touaregs between the 3 and 18 January.

The impressive setting also inspired Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Technical Development, and Wolfgang Hatz, Head of Group Powertrain Development in the Volkswagen group. The first competitive stage and opening 622 kilometres of the "Dakar" are on the agenda on Saturday with the route from Buenos Aires to Santa Rosa de la Pampa. The rally also finishes in Buenos Aires on 18 January after a total of 14 stages across the most varied terrain, crossing the Andes twice and a section through the extremely dry Atacama Desert.

"With this genuinely stunning start in such an impressive setting we have witnessed the enthusiasm of the South Americans for the Dakar Rally," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "The real sporting business opens on Saturday. I'm convinced that the spectators on location and sitting in front of the television will see a very exciting race. It'll be worthwhile following every minute of the action."

The Dakar Rally on TV

3 January
18.45 - 19.05, RTL, RTL aktuell
19.15 - 19.30, Eurosport, Finish live
23.00 - 23.45, Eurosport, Highlights live
00.00 - 00.30, RTL, Nachtjournal
01.15 - 02.00, Eurosport, Highlights (repeat)

4 January
08.30 - 09.15, Eurosport, Highlights (repeat)

-credit: vw

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Mark Miller , Carlos Sainz , Dieter Depping , Giniel de Villiers , Michel Périn , Timo Gottschalk , Ralph Pitchford , Kris Nissen , Ulrich Hackenberg
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport