Monday, 19 January 2009


The Volkswagen team made motorsport history in Argentina on Sunday, claiming the first diesel-powered victory in the history of the world’s toughest motorsport event, the Dakar Rally. Not only that, but the team’s South African driver, Giniel de Villiers, led home a Volkswagen 1-2.
De Villiers, his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz, and their TDI-engined Race Touareg crossed the Buenos Aires finish line – after more than 5000 km of competitive rallying – nearly nine minutes ahead of the sister Volkswagen of USA/South Africa pairing Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford. Third place went to American Hummer pilot Robby Gordon, who was more than 100 minutes adrift.

Volkswagen’s 2009 Dakar Rally achievement is the second time that the manufacturer has claimed a 1-2: in 1980, Swede Freddy Kotulinsky and Frenchman Patrick Zaniroli raced their Iltis machines to the top two overall. The Volkswagen win brings to a close seven years of domination by Mitsubishi.