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Three Volkswagen Race-Touareg prototypes at Moroccan Rally

Wolfsburg (4th May 2005).
The newly signed South African Giniel de Villiers and the Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner will make their competition debut in the Race-Touareg at the third round of the FIA Cross Country World Cup from 25th to 29th May.

The Volkswagen driver duos Jutta Kleinschmidt/Fabrizia Pons (German/Italy) and Bruno Saby/Michel Périn (both France) also start.

The Moroccan Rally is already the fourth event of the 2005 season for the Volkswagen works team – after the Dakar Rally in January, where Jutta Kleinschmidt was third, the Rally Por las Pampas at the beginning of March in South America at which Bruno Saby scored the first Race-Touareg victory, and the Tunisian Rally at the start of April, where Saby was second. As a result, Volkswagen works pilot Bruno Saby arrives at the third of six Cross Country Rally World Cup events this season as championship leader with an eleven point advantage.

The Volkswagen works team plans a four-day test in Morocco before the start of the rally at the seaside resort of Agadir:
"Jutta Kleinschmidt and Giniel de Villiers should make several long runs with the Race-Touareg at the test”, says Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director.

Giniel de Villiers got acquainted with the Race-Touareg for the first time during the engine tests in Poland last week.

"We want to test the new development steps made in the engine and suspension areas in competition”, explains Kris Nissen.

"Since the Tunisian Rally we continued to work on the drivability of the engine and have optimised the Volkswagen Race-Touareg prototype’s suspension for camel grass tracks.
At the same time we have reached a point at which you can’t expect big development steps, little steps are already considered a success.
In addition to testing new technical developments, Morocco is obviously all about preparing the recently strengthened team for the 2006 Dakar Rally and to give the drivers and co-drivers the opportunity to collect as many competition kilometres as possible.”

Among the goals in Morocco explains Nissen: "It would be great to fight for the win again. We want to demonstrate that we are a serious opponent for Mitsubishi again.”

Volkswagen newcomer Giniel de Villiers is particularly looking forward to the Moroccan event – since he returns to the site of his first rally victory:
Two years ago he won this race together with co-driver Tina Thörner.
With Bruno Saby, Michel Périn and Fabrizia Pons, Volkswagen has five previous Moroccan winners within their ranks.

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