Sunday 20th March 2005
Volkswagen celebrated their first overall victory for the Race-Touareg at the Rally Port las Pampas held in Argentina and Chile between the 6th and 12th March. Bruno Saby drove the winning car, whilst his team mate Jutta Kleinschmidt finished third overall.
This win came only eight weeks after Volkswagen's historic third place at the Dakar Rally where Jutta Kleinschmidt scored the first ever podium position for a diesel powered vehicle in the world' hardest rally.
Bruno Saby, driving the Race-Touareg powered by a five-cylinder TDI diesel-engine driving through a bespoke Xtrac Transmission and Differentials, beat the French Mitsubishi driver Stephane Peterhansel by 11.12 minutes. Saby took the lead on the second day and maintained his position convincingly over the remaining six stages. Saby/Perin also scored three fastest stage times during the event.
At a length of almost 4,200 kilometres, 2,500 of these being special stages, the Rally Por last Pampas is at least half a 'Dakar' distance.
Jutta Kleinschmidt also continued a remarkable run of success. The 2001 'Dakar' winner has taken the chequered flag in all nine cross country rallies she has competed in for Volkswagen since January 2003. With third position at the Rally Por las Pampas, she scored her third podium finish with the Race-Touareg in the fourth event since August 2004.
After the first round of the Cross Country World Cup, Bruno Saby leads with 15 points, Stephane Peterhansel is second with 11 points and Jutta Kleinschmidt is third with 7 points.