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Volkswagen Motorsport

2011 Dakar Rally: Only 25 days left - VW Motorsport director, Kris Nissen, in a brief interview

07.12.2010 / Wolfsburg - Cairo /

The Dakar Rally is known as the toughest rally in the world as it is a technological endurance test, a driving and navigational challenge as well as a marathon in terms of logistics. All of that at the same time.

In January Volkswagen will tackle the world’s biggest challenge which motorsport has to offer with four newly developed Race Touareg 3 vehicles and the driver/co-driver pairings Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E), Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D), Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) and Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D).

We had the chance through the VW motorsport communication department to publish an interview with Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen, who is responsible for the commitment in Argentina and Chile from 01 to 16 January 2011.

Q: Mr. Nissen, what is your opinion about the motorsport year 2010?

A: "2008 had been the most successful year of the Volkswagen brand in motorsport so far, and in 2009 we added our victory at the �Dakar’. Nobody expected this to be topped. But 2010 was even better. Not only did we manage to clinch a one-two-three victory at the �Dakar’ and celebrate three Formula 3 titles but the new Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup is a valuable addition to the motorsport world as well. The innovative concept proves its viability and is very favourably received by drivers, fans, partners and spectators.�

Q: What are your success formulas?

A: "It’s necessary to continue to develop. The new Race Touareg 3, for example, is better than the Race Touareg 2, although that car was already good. You mustn’t get stuck in a rut. This is true in motorsport as well as in everyday life. If we ignore this fact the competition will catch up with us.�

Q:What is your opinion about alternative drive concepts?

A:"Alternative drive concepts are very important, particularly with a view towards the future. The Volkswagen Group primarily established diesel power in motorsport. Audi won Le Mans with it, SEAT the World Touring Car Championship and we won the �Dakar’. By fielding bio natural gas we demonstrated that exciting motorsport is possible with low CO2 emissions. And the most important thing is that natural gas engines are available today as opposed to being a technology that will only be used in a few years from now. Every customer can buy a car powered by natural gas for everyday driving.�

Q: What is the importance of the Dakar Rally for Volkswagen?

A: "Media interest at the Dakar Rally is unique. TV reports are aired in 190 countries. Entrants who prove technology prowess here can be sure to reach a broad audience. This, too, is a reason why we participate in the �Dakar’.�

Mr. Nissen, thank you for the interview.

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