Carlos Sainz, who won the Dakar Rally with Volkswagen in January, will drive a bio natural gas-powered Scirocco R as the course-opening car at the 2010 ADAC Rally Germany (19–22 August) on Friday. His team colleague Nasser Al-Attiyah will pilot the eco-conscious vehicle on Saturday and Sunday.
The two-time World Rally Champion Sainz will open the only German WRC round with the cleanest car in the field: the Volkswagen Scirocco R reduces CO2 emissions by 80 per cent thanks to bio natural gas. "Our many fans around the road course are already familiar with this technology from the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup and the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "Now there’s a nice opportunity to present ourselves in another – and very popular – discipline.” More than 200,000 spectators line the tracks around the rally centre in Trier every year.
Carlos Sainz is looking forward to his return to the World Rally Championship scene in which he was at home from 1987 to 2005. "Of course it’s nice to return to one’s personal past,” admits the Spaniard, who will run together with his "Dakar” co-driver Lucas Cruz. "And with the Scirocco R it’ll definitely be fun to drive the special stages in front of the field and to make a contribution to the safety of the spectators in the process.” The two-time WRC Champion finished his last motorsport competition in Germany in third place: six years ago Sainz mounted the podium at the ADAC Rally Germany in front of the famous Porta Nigra in Trier.
For Volkswagen factory driver Nasser Al-Attiyah the World Rally Championship is familiar territory: in addition to his commitment in cross-country rally racing, the 39-year-old from Qatar contests the Super 2000 category in the WRC this year. In the Scirocco Al-Attiyah will be navigated by Timo Gottschalk from Berlin with whom the Arab clinched second place at the 2010 Dakar Rally.
For the commitment in the road rally Volkswagen has modified the 202-kW (275 hp) Cup Scirocco R. To protect the car’s underbody, ride height has been increased by about 20 mm. A Kevlar board acts as a barrier toward the bottom for the engine and gearbox. In terms of tyres, Volkswagen has opted for a special road rally construction by its partner Dunlop. The bio natural gas will be supplied by a stationary and a mobile refuelling vehicle.
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