View Full Version : The Legend Returns!!

15-12-2004, 09:23
I'm a bit late with posting this thread, but I believe most of you didn't hear on read about it. When I had my internship there they were already forming the new team, but understandbly I couldn't talk about it here on the forum due to my contract.

But it's certainly nice to see a great name like that returning on the front of Motorsports:

Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH established

To strengthen their motorsport involvement, Volkswagen AG established, with effect from 01 November 2004, the Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH. The functions of the former Volkswagen Racing GmbH and the Volkswagen AG Motorsport Department will be combined, within the framework of a new structure, in the new company.

The Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH is affiliated directly with the Overall Technical Development of the Volkswagen AG under the supervision of board member Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bockelmann. Joachim Rothenpieler, Director of Complete Vehicle Development Passenger Vehicles of Volkswagen AG, assumes the supervisory board duties for the new GmbH.

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen, who has been responsible for the race and rally activities of the Wolfsburg automobile manufacturer since July 2003, takes over the management of Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH, while Wolfgang Dressler assumes the role of Commercial Manager. Within Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH, the responsibilities for engineering rest with Eduard Weidl, for personnel and finance with Hans-Wilhelm Hilmer, for the Team Management with Peter Utoft, and for Marketing and Communication with Uwe Baldes.

Kris Nissen: "With the formation of Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH and the corresponding new structure, we have created an excellent base from which to compete in motorsport at the highest level in an objective, professional and successful way.”

The main priority of Volkswagen's motorsport activities remains in Cross Country Rally sport. Volkswagen Motorsport starts for the second time in the Dakar Rally in January with the specially developed Race-Touareg. The prototypes, powered by Diesel TDI-engines, are driven by the three former ‘Dakar' winners Jutta Kleinschmidt, Juha Kankkunen and Bruno Saby. During the Race-Touareg's debut at the last Dakar Rally, Bruno Saby was sixth and Jutta Kleinschmidt scored the first stage victory. During three additional FIA Cross Country World Cup competitions in Morocco, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, Jutta Kleinschmidt scored the first podium finish, with third place, in Turkey and, in addition, a total of seven stage victories in all competitions have been recorded. Parallel to the works involvement with the Race-Touareg, Volkswagen Motorsport is committed to the support of touring car ‘stars of tomorrow' and organises, within the framework of the DTM (German Touring Car Masters), the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup.

15-12-2004, 09:25
In conclusion to my last post: It's going to be crowded in Barcelona January 1st :D

Volkswagen with four Race-Touareg at Dakar Rally

Following the Race-Touareg prototype’s intensive test and development programme, Volkswagen attacks the 2005 Dakar Rally with a potent squad containing four top international drivers and two influential new partners.

In addition to the three existing ‘Dakar' winners Juha Kankkunen, Jutta Kleinschmidt and Bruno Saby already under contract, the renowned US-American driver Robby Gordon has been signed, bringing not only off-road sport experience but also circuit racing to the project. With O2 and Castrol, Volkswagen secured, in addition to Red Bull and LuK, two influential partners who will support the Cross Country Rally sport involvement during the 2005 season.

Impressive driver quartet with years of experience

Volkswagen starts the 2005 Rally Dakar with the strongest driver line-up since the beginning of their Cross Country Rally sport involvement. Newcomer Robby Gordon enriches the skills of the marque's driver profile with a broad spectrum of experience. Although he is only just 35-years old and, as a result, the youngest Volkswagen works driver, the professional racing driver born in California is held in great esteem in many leading series. No less than six championship titles in the domestic SCORE off-road series prove the American to be an absolute cross-country vehicle expert. In parallel since 1990, the professional driver has established himself in the IMSA sportscar series, celebrated four successive class victories at the Daytona 24 Hours, started in the NASCAR series for the first time in 1991, and, in the following year, made his debut in the ChampCar series in which he celebrated two victories. Even today he has remained loyal to the "Baja 1000”, probably America's most famous off-road event, which he won twice.

"With his diverse experience, Robby fits perfectly in the Volkswagen team”, stresses Volkswagen Motorsport Director. "He convinced us of his qualities during a test in September. We consider him to be the perfect addition to our three established regular drivers, and now have one of the most experienced, multitalented and convincing driver line-ups in the field.”

Following his debut for Volkswagen in the UAE Desert Challenge, Juha Kankkunen, 1998 ‘Dakar' winner, will again compete alongside his co-driver and Finnish countryman Juha Repo in the Race-Touareg. Jutta Kleinschmidt, ‘Dakar' winner from 2001, shares her prototype with co-driver Fabrizia Pons. With third place at the Rally d'Orient in August, the German-Italian duo scored the Race-Touareg prototype's first podium position. The squad is completed by Bruno Saby and his French countryman Michel Périn. Saby, the ‘Dakar' winner in 1993, and Périn, who won the desert classic three times in succession between 1994 and 1996, held the lead in a rally with the Race-Touareg in Turkey in August for the first time.

Logical technical development with larger capacity engine

Volkswagen constantly developed the Race-Touareg after the successful debut with Bruno Saby's sixth place and Jutta Kleinschmidt's stage victory at the 2004 Rally Dakar. The most important innovation concerns the TDI-engine: The cubic capacity of the five-cylinder in-line engine mounted longitudinally behind the front axle was increased from 2.3 to 2.5 litres. As a result, the power produced by the turbo-diesel unit increases from 175 kW/238 PS to 191 kW/260 PS.

For the ideal distribution of the engine's 500 plus Newton metres torque, Volkswagen has created new solutions in the permanent four-wheel drive Race-Touareg. During the three competitive outings in the Cross Country Rally World Cup and six tests, the technicians, under the leadership of Eduard Weidl, also tested, in the most diverse external conditions, numerous suspension configurations, new components and details to improve ease of maintenance, comfort and operation.

Preparation for new challenges

The Dakar Rally, with its 16 special stages covering 5,431 kilometres and 8,956 kilometres in total, represents one of the greatest challenges in motorsport to the Volkswagen works team and its competitors. The classified distance equates to the sum of all the race kilometres driven in a complete Formula 1 season. Simultaneously, various innovations make the 2005 ‘Dakar' even more exiting, but also safer. With immediate effect the use of an automatic tyre pressure system is prohibited. To increase the contact patch area, and therefore the traction on particularly soft ground the drivers must now adjust the tyre valve themselves. "As a result, the drivers who have correctly judged the pressure beforehand or compensate for lack of traction with driver talent, will be suitably rewarded”, says Bruno Saby applauding the measures. In the same way, a standard tyre from BFGoodrich is stipulated for the entire event in 2005. "We have already simulated both conditions voluntarily during the UAE Desert Challenge and were pleased with the results”, says a happy Jutta Kleinschmidt, who did not get bogged down in the soft Arabian sand once during the sixth round of the World Cup.

Two marathon stages each followed by a marathon bivouac on the first evening of the

two-day stage prevent any service work being done by the accompanying travellers. After refuelling, the vehicles must be parked in a Parc fermé. "Because of this, excellent endurance qualities are a necessity. The car must be one-hundred percent reliable, driver and co-driver have to fend for themselves”, says Robby Gordon looking hopefully towards his first ‘Dakar' start. The American knows from what sort of stress and strains he speaks: In 1989 he took overall victory in the 1600 kilometre "Baja 1000” after a solo drive of 16 hours 15 minutes.

The "Sentinel” System, previously tested during the 2004 season, completes the list of innovations. It signals acoustically and optically to competitors driving in front that approaching, almost unseen in their own dust cloud, is another vehicle. "Overtaking on narrow sections of the route is made easier. Risky manoeuvres belong in the past and the performance parity among competitors increases”, explains the four-time Rally World Champion Juha Kankkunen.

Strengthened team structure

Not only have the technology and driver/co-driver combinations been prepared as good as possible for the demands of the 2005 Dakar Rally, and the additional Automobile World Council FIA organised Cross Country Rally World Cup events planned, but also the entire Volkswagen Motorsport team resident in Hanover, Germany. The team has prepared itself intensively for every organisational challenge associated with the second ‘Dakar' event for the Race-Touareg during the season, and in particular during the rally events contested in 2004.

The logistic department has been systematically expanded, after doubling the number of competing vehicles in the 2004 Dakar Rally from two to four Race-Touareg prototypes in January 2005. Volkswagen lines up with a team of over 60 people, including management personnel and drivers, for the long 9,000 kilometre trip to Dakar. As direct support for the works drivers, two Race-Trucks are entered in the truck classification, which are allowed to provide immediate help in the stages. To transport the team members, obviously also including a doctor and a physiotherapist, Volkswagen Motorsport relies on nine production-based Touareg cars, which have proven their excellent reliability during all the previous events. The remaining shadow fleet consists of seven trucks of various constructions for the transport of material, equipment and mechanical and electrical components.

After the concluding two-week test in Morocco, and the final preparations in Hanover, the works team sets off for the 27th running of the Dakar Rally in excellent condition. On 27th December the entire team travels from Wolfsburg to Barcelona, where, after technical scrutineering of the vehicles, the 2005 Rally Dakar begins with the obligatory prologue.

"We are really looking forward to the Dakar Rally and are intrigued by the demands. This competition is an incredible challenge for man and machine. We are well prepared to stave off the strong competition”, says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen.

15-12-2004, 20:16
Nice to have them back in competition.

Let's hope for some nice results at the dakar rally for VW. Must be possible with those great drivers together with Volkswagen Motorsport GmBH.