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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
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
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
Two years ago he won this race together with co-driver Tina
With Bruno Saby, Michel Périn and Fabrizia Pons, Volkswagen has
five previous Moroccan winners within their ranks.