'So far this year we hardly know what to expect because the organizer has only announced a few details,' said the Spanish world-class pilot Sainz, who won with the narrowest lead in Dakar history a year ago.
Sainz 'competition comes again from Germany. Co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz from Karlshof wants to repeat victory on the first tour through South America in 2009 with helmsman Giniel de Villiers (South Africa). For Timo Gottschalk from Berlin, on the other hand, alongside driver Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar), it would be the first ever success at the Dakar, which now leads through Argentina and Chile again. In 2008 the former Paris-Dakar was canceled shortly before the start due to a terror warning. Then the entourage moved from Africa to South America.
Across the Andes, through the Atacama Desert
And has now achieved record numbers. 430 teams registered, 20 percent more than in 2010. The route covers 9,618 kilometers, start and finish in Buenos Aires. 13 stages have to be completed, on January 1st, crowds are expected to kick off in the Argentine metropolis. Over the Andes and the merciless Atacama Desert, it finally goes back to Buenos Aires. The overall winner 2011 will be determined on January 15th.
If VW Motorsport Director Kris Nissen has his way, the winning team will definitely be in a Wolfsburg-based car, which de Villiers /Zitzewitz achieved the first diesel triumph had retracted at the rally. 'The goal for 2011 is clearly defined: Volkswagen has decided to bring the trophy to Wolfsburg for the third time in a row,' emphasized Nissen.