Volkswagen has won the legendary Dakar Rally for the second time in succession, with the duos and their TDI-powered Race Touareg prototypes celebrating a one-two-three podium lockout at the finish of the toughest challenge in motorsport.
Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz triumphed by only 2:12 minutes over team mates Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk in a thrilling finale on the closing 202km sprint on the 14th and final rally day. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford claimed third position while last year’s winners Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz finished seventh.
VW member of the board of management, Dr Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, was immeasurably impressed by the result.
“I’m incredibly proud of our team. It’s stunning what the drivers, co-drivers and the entire team have achieved on every single day of the Dakar Rally.
“With this one-two-three triumph Volkswagen Motorsport even surpassed its own lofty goals,” he said.
VW motorsport director, Kris Nissen, agreed that Volkswagen had achieved something historical with the podium-filling performance.
“Three weeks ago a highly motivated Volkswagen team came with the goal of successfully defending the Dakar title won last year.
“The Volkswagen drivers fought amongst themselves for victory all the way to the chequered flag – sometimes by hard but fair means. This is exactly how we imagine motorsport to be.”
The Wolfsburg-based brand remains the only manufacturer to have won the car category of the Dakar Rally with diesel power, adding to successful 2009 campaigns in Argentina and Chile.
In addition to the efficiency of the VW Group’s direct injection technology the Race Touareg’s reliability was the key to the 2010 Dakar victory. Despite the extreme demands, the powerful 224kW Race Touareg proved to be not only the most robust, but also the fastest vehicle recording seven of a possible 14 stage victories and eleven days in the lead.
Sainz/Cruz took two stage wins on the way to claiming the 32nd Dakar Rally. Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk were even more dominant with four wins while Miller/Pitchford recorded one.
With 42 podium positions available across the 14 stages VW filled 27 and there was not one podium that was not mounted by one of its racing teams.
|1||Sainz / Cruz||Volkswagen Race Touareg 2||47h 10m 00s|
|2||Al-Attiyah / Gottschalk||Volkswagen Race Touareg 2||+ 2m 12s|
|3||Miller / Pitchford||Volkswagen Race Touareg 2||+ 32m 51s|
|4||Peterhansel / Cottret||BMW X3 CC||+ 2h 17m 21s|
|5||Chicherit / Thörner||BMW X3 CC||+ 4h 02m 49s|
|6||Sousa / Baumel||Mitsubishi Racing Lancer||+ 4h 31m 45s|
|7||de Villiers / von Zitzewitz||Volkswagen Race Touareg 2||+ 5h 10m 19s|
|8||Gordon / Grider||Hummer||+ 6h 02m 24s|
|9||Terranova / Maimon||Mitsubishi Racing Lancer||+ 6h 04m 47s|
|10||Spinelli / Palmeiro||Mitsubishi Racing Lancer||+ 6h 13m 41s|