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Volkswagen Unveils Baja Race Touareg 2

Sparked by the roots of the success achieved with the “Dakar” Touareg, Volkswagen, in collaboration with the team of Mark Miller and Ryan Arciero decided to create an innovative product for the Baja 1000 Trophy Truck class. With the presentation of the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2008, Volskwagen continues its motor sport tradition in the USA with their “Clean Diesel Racing” concept exhibited on this Race Touareg 2. The car is powered by a 5.5 Litre V12 TDI engine developing 550 horsepower.

As opposed to the Dakar Rally, one of the toughest rallies in the world, the Baja 1000 in Mexico is rather unusual than its tougher related event. Teams competing in the Baja 1000 need to cover a total distance of 630 miles, without any interruptions and against the clock. The brutal terrain that characterizes the Baja 1000 rally is made out of scree slopes, washed out river beds, trial sections, sand and silt, which is the worst type of soft ground of all: a powdery material which can put a pitiful end even to the propulsive power of 800 PS Trophy Trucks.

Planning for the Baja rally is up to the teams themselves.There aren't many technical rules in the Trophy Truck class of the Race Touareg 2, vehicle development is almost unrestricted.The only prohibition being the turbocharged petrol engines.

The sporting regulations allow practice only by using different cars then the ones competing in the actual race, and of course only after the official route has been announced. In the actual race, the competition vehicles can be followed by its own team's chase cars, however the chase cars are only allowed to drive on route with the race car, in the same direction of travel.

Service points can also be established along the route, but the main disadvantage of stopping at this point is that the time recorded for the stop will add an increase the total time spent in the actual race, therefore team pilots will only stop if really necessary. Volkswagen will also deploy, like all the other teams, a helicopter which will monitor the teams behavior while racing although at night time, flying ban for helicopters is in effect in Mexico. The helicopters are prohibited to transport mechanics and spare parts.

With Volkswagen's first attendance at the Baja 41 years ago, on 19 April 1967, with the Meyers Manx Volkswagen team which consisted in Vic Wilson as the driver and Ted Mangels as the navigator, Volkswagen took the first place, taking the Americans 27 hours and 38 minutes to cover the rallys length. With the Race Touareg 2 Volskwagen is trying to reclaim the title in the Baja Rally, but this time in the Trophy Truck class.
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