- Blancpain Reiter enters 3 Lamborghini Gallardo’s at the 24H Dubai
- TECHART Noselift system and Formula Race wheels for the Porsche 911 GT2 RS
- Audi: Fascination quattro Montreal 2011
- Watching: Footsteps of Progress by Audi
- Driving: 2011 Audi A6
- VW Reaping the Benefits of Toyota’s Labor in Tenn Says Sen. Corker
- Dakar 2011: Nasser Al-Attiyah claims the overall lead by 5 minutes
- Watching: Porsche 918 RSR
- Skoda presents new 2011 IRC Fabia Super 2000
- Dakar 2011: Volkswagen take a 1-2-3-4 win on Day 6
Posted: 12 Jan 2011 08:50 PM PST
The racing season for three Lamborghini teams will already begin in the middle of January with the 24h of Dubai. For the first time starting in the fight at the Emirates will be Team Blancpain Reiter with a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 GT3 in the A6 class. Therefor team principal Hans Reiter pins his hopes on a loyal drivers line-up.
Head of the team is Peter Kox. The Dutchman won the ADAC GT Masters 2010 for Reiter Engineering togehter with Albert von Thurn und Taxis and is also driver in the FIA GT1 world championship. He shares his Gallardo with Marc Hayek, Nico Pronk and Bernhard Muller. Hayek and Pronk fought together with Reiter in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo last year, the GT brand cup of Lamborghini. First experience in GT3 Mark Hayek also gained at a run of the British GT championship together with Peter Kox.
With Bernhard Muller a pilot from the first days of Reiter Engineering returns to the team. Muller competed in races in the FIA GT championship over 10 years ago with a Reiter Lamborghini Diablo, the very first GT racing car developed by Reiter Engineering.
“I think we are very lucky this time to have such a harmonious drivers crew. If we as team do not make mistakes we absolutely can be under the top 5″, says the team principal.
Next to Blancpain Reiter the teams Rhino‘s Leipert and Gulf Team First will compete with a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 GT3 at the 24h of Dubai from the 13th – 15th January 2011 on the Dubai Autodrome.
The 24h of Dubai start on Thursday, the 13th of January 2011 with the free practice and qualifying. The race starts on Friday, the 14th of Januray 2011 at the 2 p.m. local time.
Posted: 12 Jan 2011 07:45 PM PST
The harmony of usability, highest technical reliability as well as individual development. Besides the TECHART Formula Race lightweight forged centerlock wheel, which was presented already in November, as of now the TECHART Noselift system is available for the new Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Approximately 60 mm of additional ground clearance at the front spoiler are provided at the push of a button to prevent grounding through hydraulic ride-height control at the front axle.
The hydraulic TECHART Noselift system features a trouble-free back fitting, a rapid height adjustment of approximately 10 mm/s with particularly silent operation as well as fully integrated operation via a button with a status indicator at the roof console. Besides the perfect integration in the GT2 RS, EMC-safe electronic control units, vehicle-specific CAN bus integrated wiring harnesses as well as high-performance test procedures are part of the premium development process.
Furthermore TECHART offers the 20-inch Formula Race lightweight forged centerlock wheel in sizes of 8,5J x 20 ET 40 and 8,5J x 20 ET 52 for the front axle and 12J x 20 ET 50 for the rear axle for the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. The rigidity and weight ratio was optimized one more time for the TECHART Formula Race and – based on the lighter twin spokes and the connection through the centerlock – provides a weight advantages of 10% if compared to the TECHART Formula III forged wheel and an impressive 25% if compared to a light alloy wheel. The result: a reduction of the rotating and unsprung mass, which results in an even more agile driving behavior and increased driving dynamics.
Posted: 12 Jan 2011 06:43 AM PST
Posted: 12 Jan 2011 06:32 AM PST
Posted: 12 Jan 2011 05:51 AM PST
Posted: 11 Jan 2011 06:51 AM PST
As Volkswagen takes the wraps off its new American-built Passat sedan at the 2011 Detroit auto show, prominent Tennessee politician Bob Corker is giving credit to the company and its vision for new U.S. production–while he also gives a nod to Volkswagen’s competitor in the mainstream sedan market, Toyota.
Corker (R.-Tenn.) says the arrival of Volkswagen marks another milestone in the state’s long campaign to woo industrial jobs.
“It’s an incredible thing for southeast Tennessee,” he said prior to the launch of the Passat at Detroit’s Cobo Center. “For 20 years our city has had a vision, and differing people have been able to put that vision into reality.”
Posted: 11 Jan 2011 05:27 AM PST
On the most difficult Dakar Rally stage so far the Volkswagen teams guaranteed enormous tension with a change of leadership. As was the case on Friday the four Race Touareg teams took the top four finishing positions on the eighth stage from Antofagasta to Copiapó. In Chile’s most famous town since the mining miracle the Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D) duo took their third stage win. On his favorite terrain in deep sand Al-Attiyah replaced last year’s winner Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E) at the head of the overall standings. The Arab is now 5 minutes 14 seconds ahead of the Spaniard.
Initially, after winning yesterday and thus having to open today’s stage, Nasser Al-Attiyah was behind Sainz. Only after the tenth of 13 way points did the professional rally driver from Qatar transform a 1 minute 58 second deficit into a 6 minute 36 second advantage. Behind Sainz and Al-Attiyah, Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) ended the day third in front of their Volkswagen team mates Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA). As a result the two duos each moved up a place in the overall standings: De Villiers is third. Miller, who led the stage at the start, is now fifth in the rally.
While Volkswagen recorded the seventh of a possible eight stage victories, its strongest challenger fell even further behind. Stéphane Peterhansel in the X-raid-BMW is 1 hour 33 minutes behind in fourth overall.
At 508 kilometers in length the teams today completed the rally’s longest stage so far. Only the forthcoming stages on 13 and 14 January will be longer. In the first part of the stage the teams had to master many opencast mining access roads and passed the Paranal Observatory – the scene of the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace”. All in all it was a kind of mini “Dakar” in one stage: The stage between Antofagasta and Copiapó provided a huge array of varied terrain. On the one side gravel sections requiring a more respectful approach for the material, and on the other washed out sand sections, dry river beds and canyons, which tested the navigators’ skills. Several dune belts formed the crowning glory on the toughest stage of the 2011 Dakar Rally to date.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
“Today was the Volkswagen day! The Race Touareg ran without problems, our drivers and co-drivers worked very well. There has quite possibly never been such a difficult stage as today’s. And here Volkswagen has pulled out such a large margin. It shows how good our car is and just what the occupants achieved in the cockpit. Many thanks to the whole team for this. We move ever closer to our big goal, but the ‘Dakar’ is and remains merciless. We must continue to give our all.”
#300 – Carlos Sainz (E), 2nd place leg / 2nd position overall
“Today probably wasn’t our day. We lost the lead after getting bogged down twice in the dunes. For the majority of the time we were close to our team mate Nasser Al-Attiyah. This would have meant that we would have extended our lead by two minutes. Instead it of this we were six minutes slower in the special stage. Of all the places we got stuck in the final dune belt. This means that our role has changed. We are now hunting and no longer the hunted. However, this changes nothing to the approach: We will continue to give our all day by day in order to be right at the front at the finish.”
#302 – Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), 1st place leg / 1st position overall
“Today I saved my entire energy for the dune sections and concentrated solely on attacking there. We drove for almost the entire distance alongside Carlos Sainz, the lead changed frequently between us. In the final dune section I said to my co-driver Timo Gottschalk: It’s now or never. We extracted the absolute maximum. The target was to reduce the deficit. The result is the overall lead. We must continue to work cleverly to defend this advantage up to the finish.”
#304 – Mark Miller (USA), 4th place leg / 5th position overall
“A really fantastic stage. This is how ‘Dakar’ stages must be: A little bit of everything was in it. Today we had a good day. Just at one point the road book allowed a lot of room for interpretation. My co-driver Ralph Pitchford did everything correct, we were right on target and nevertheless had to search for a long time for a way point. To start the stage we had to change a slow puncture, but this can always happen on such a stage. All in all I enjoyed the day. We’d be happy to see more like this.”
#308 – Giniel de Villiers (ZA), 3rd place day / 3rd position overall
“This stage was really tough. Everything was expected today from both the driving and navigational points of view. My navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz did a great job today. We followed the route 100 per cent. Occasionally, however, we didn’t see any tracks from the guys in front of us. They must have been particularly clever today. Because otherwise I just can’t explain my deficit on today’s stage. Although we had a tyre failure it was changed very quickly. To be third overall now is fantastic. The podium is our goal. Nevertheless, I think from day to day. There are still tough stages to come. We can’t afford to make any mistakes here, if we are going to make any more progress towards the front.”
Standings after leg 08, Antofagasta (RCH)–Copiapó (RCH); 508/776 km SS 08/total Pos. Team Vehicle Leg 08 Total time 1 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D); Volkswagen Race Touareg 3; 5h 16m 30s (1) 28h 39m 50s 2 Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E); Volkswagen Race Touareg 3; 5h 23m 06s (2) + 5m 14s 3 Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D); Volkswagen Race Touareg 3; 5h 33m 52s (3) + 48m 45s 4 Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-P. Cottret (F/F); BMW X3 CC; 6h 30m 11s (6) + 1h 33m 30s 5 Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA); Volkswagen Race Touareg 3; 5h 36m 31s (4) + 2h 32m 23s 6 Krzysztof Holowczyc/Jean-Marc Fortin (PL/B); BMW X3 CC; 7h 27m 52s (11) + 3h 38m 59s 7 Christian Lavieille/Jean-Michel Polato (F/F); Nissan Proto; 6h 40m 06s (9) + 4h 48m 55s 8 Ricardo Leal dos Santos/Paulo Fiuza (P/P); BMW X3 CC; 6h 38m 41s (7) + 4h 51m 29s 9 Guilherme Spinelli/Youssef Haddad (BR/BR); Mitsubishi Racing Lancer; 8h 12m 50s (13) + 5h 33m 48s 10 Matthias Kahle/Thomas Schünemann (D/D); Buggy SMG; 6h 39m 39s (8) + 7h 06m 57s
Posted: 10 Jan 2011 07:34 AM PST
Posted: 08 Jan 2011 09:30 AM PST
A total of 10 Fabia Super 2000 will appear at the legendary Monte Carlo Rally. This is the opening event of the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), in which Skoda is going to be defending its titles in both the Manufacturers and Drivers competitions.
Skoda Motorsport (factory team) will appear with both of its successful crews – last year’s IRC winners Juho Hanninen & Mikko Markkula and the runners-up, Jan Kopecky and Petr Stary. Skoda Motorsport’s Fabia Super 2000 project has been receiving positive response from Skoda importers in many markets. As a result, the Monte Carlo Rally will see some big names drive a Fabia Super 2000, including the new member of Skoda UK Motorsport Andreas Mikkelsen, the 2008 IRC champion Nicolas Vouilloz, Freddy Loix (winner of three IRC races last year) and Mark Wallenwein of Skoda Auto Germany. A number of other Fabias Super 2000 are going to appear in the colours of private teams, and also want to fight for the best possible result in Monte Carlo, one of the world’s most challenging rally events.
Posted: 08 Jan 2011 08:11 AM PST
The Volkswagen drivers went into the rest day of this year’s Dakar Rally with a 1-2-3-4 win. After the victories in the first week the score in the duel with the X-raid BMW team is now 5-1 to Volkswagen.
After six legs through Argentina and Chile Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E) are leading by 2m 42s in front of their team colleagues Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D). After 1,925 of the 5,020 kilometers against the clock Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (F/F) in the X-raid BMW are Volkswagen’s fiercest rivals. Their gap amounts to 14m 51s – a time as short as the blink of an eye at the Dakar Rally. Four out of six possible stage wins so far went to Sainz/Cruz and one each to Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk and Peterhansel/Cottret. The leading trio is followed within a striking distance by two other Volkswagen factory duos: Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) in fourth and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) in sixth place overall.
Yet the rest day of the “Dakar” is anything but a day for lazing around. The mechanics intensively prepare the vehicles for the second week of the “Dakar”. After the joint press conference the drivers, co-drivers and team management will present the Volkswagen bivouac to Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera and subsequently be available to the media for interviews.
The first rally week offered the “Dakar” participants the variety which is typical for South America. The terrain changed several times a day between gravel passages, scree fields, solid clay soil, jungle sections and soft dune sand. On the sixth leg the Volkswagen drivers definitely earned their day of rest, which gives them the first chance to recuperate since the rally started on New Year’s Day in Buenos Aires. Plenty of the powder-like sand that is called “guadal” in the national language (and is similar to Africa’s fesh fesh) made this leg a particularly grueling endeavor for “man and material”. The Volkswagen duos finished this stage with a 1-2-3-4 victory.
The second half of the Dakar Rally will start on Sunday and Monday like a thunderbolt. A total of 611 timed kilometres on the seventh and 508 on the eighth leg are on the agenda. The tasks are as varied as they were in the first part of the “Dakar”. Gravel, solid ground and lots of sand make sure that the participants will not suffer from boredom. The Dakar Rally ends on 15 January after the second crossing of the Andes and after thirteen legs when the teams arrive at the finish in Buenos Aires.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
#300 – Carlos Sainz (E), 1st place overall
“On the whole, the first rally week went very well for us. Despite some rough stages the Race Touareg 3 ran without the slightest technical problems. We had the honor of being the stage winners a total of three times and the handicap of having to open the stage. My co-driver Lucas Cruz did a great job. Now, on the rest day, we’ve got to perfectly prepare for the second week. I know that I can rely on the work of my mechanics one hundred per cent. This gives me the backing for a tough second week.”
#300 – Lucas Cruz (E), co-driver
“We’ve just finished a little less than 2,000 of the more than 5,000 kilometers of special stages. They were tough but next week the ‘Dakar’ will probably be showing its true face on even more occasions. I’m expecting many more sandy passages which don’t make the work for the drivers and co-drivers any easier. We’ll use the rest day to prepare as well as we can. The pace at the front is high – any mistake could mix up the order of the standings. The race continues to be thrilling.”
#302 – Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), 2nd place overall
“The situation with respect to the overall standings is no less exciting than it was last year. Quite the opposite is true. The battle between two has turned into a battle between three contenders. My team colleague Carlos Sainz and I enlarged our gap a bit. But these gaps are extremely small for a Dakar Rally. We’ve got to continue to stay concentrated and attack at the right moment. I’m really looking forward to the second ‘Dakar’ week.”
#302 – Timo Gottschalk (D), co-driver
“The first week passed quickly and I’ve got to admit that I’m a little relieved that it has. The battle at the front of the field is extremely fierce. Running at the necessary pace with a calculated risk isn’t easy. The second week is equally interesting. Now the days are coming up on which we’ll need to work out an advantage if we want to win the rally. Even though we’ve already got one week in our bones we need to maintain the energy and concentration that are needed to achieve our goal.”
#304 – Mark Miller (USA), 6th place overall
“A less-than-perfect day that threw us out of contention for overall victory. That’s our story at the Dakar Rally. Since then our task has changed. We want to help our team-mates as best we can to clinch the third ‘Dakar’ victory in a row. We need to stay close to the blue cars in front. The past few days have shown that we’ve got the right pace to do so. The day before today’s rest day revealed that the time we set – down to nearly a second – was about the same as that of our team colleague Giniel de Villiers. I think taking this approach is exactly what’s expected of us.””
#304 – Ralph Pitchford (ZA), co-driver
“The first week was extremely varied and I really enjoyed the third special stage in particular. Unfortunately, we didn’t achieve the results we’d imagined. But I think that the toughest job is still ahead of us. The first two legs after the rest day are real humdingers. I’m looking forward to these tasks and another ‘Dakar’ week.”
#308 – Giniel de Villiers (ZA), 4th place overall
“Actually, the first part of the Dakar Rally was going pretty well for us, even though I’d have wished to have been closer to the front-running duos. But my team colleagues Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al-Attiyah are running at a fast pace. Right at the beginning we lost the time on the first two stages that we’re now lacking. But our performance on the three days before the rest day was good. We’ve still got more of a distance ahead of than behind us. We won’t give up until the very end. That’s why I’m looking forward to the upcoming seven legs.”
#308 – Dirk von Zitzewitz (D), co-driver
“The first week of the Dakar Rally was a far cry from what Giniel de Villiers and I expected. On the first WRC-like stages we lost a lot of time and on the off-road sections we didn’t do as well as we could have either. Our aim is clear: We want to attack again in the second half of the rally. Anything’s still possible.”
Interim standings after 06 of 13 legs Pos. Team Vehicle Total time 1 Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E); Volkswagen Race Touareg 3; 4h 53m 53s (1); 20h 39m 41s 2 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D); Volkswagen Race Touareg 3; 4h 54m 02s (2) + 2m 42s 3 Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-P. Cottret (F/F); BMW X3 CC; 5h 06m 18s (5) + 14m 51s 4 Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D); Volkswagen Race Touareg 3; 5h 03m 42s (3) + 31m 09s 5 Krzysztof Holowczyc/Jean-Marc Fortin (PL/B); BMW X3 CC; 5h 19m 19s (6) + 1h 13m 19s 6 Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA); Volkswagen Race Touareg 3; 5h 03m 43s (4) + 1h 35m 53s 7 Orlando Terranova/Filipe Palmeiro (ARG/P); BMW X3 CC; 5h 32m 48s (8) + 1h 37m 54s 8 Guilherme Spinelli/Youssef Haddad (BR/BR); Mitsubishi Racing Lancer; 5h 38m 15s (9) + 2h 17m 56s 9 Guerlain Chicherit/Michel Périn (F/F); Mini Countryman; 5h 22m 27s (7) + 2h 45m 25s 10 Christian Lavieille/Jean-Michel Polato (F/F); Nissan Proto; 5h 47m 23s (11) + 3h 07m 54s
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