Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Baja 1000 Embarrassment - Debut Disaster 13th - BAJA RACE TOUAREG TDI Bound For Baja On The Road With Baja Racing News.com VW Motorsports


Pictured left, Ryan Arciero realizes the Baja 1000 effort has failed.

VW Backround Stories


UPDATED January 20, 2013

UPDATE June 28, 2011

According to a VW Insider:

"Why VW bailed on SCORE??
I know my way a little around in the VAG world and my understanding is that they STILL SEND A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF MONEY TO SCORE every year to be a major event / series sponsor. In fact as of this moment I do not see any other vehicle brand listed in their sponsor banners and that SCORE website."

UPDATE May 26, 2010

Storyline ""Berlin - Remember the beach buggy? Well, Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, is celebrating its history as the manufacturer behind this and other all-terrain vehicles at a fascinating exhibition in Berlin.
"Off we go - the off-road Volkswagen story" is showing at the company-owned Automobil Forum Unter den Linden on the famous boulevard in the heart of the German capital. Entry is free and the exhibition runs until June 13. It is open seven days a week.Displays include a host of go-anywhere VWs produced over the past 50 years, starting with the beach buggy which acquired cult status when it first appeared in California in the late 1960s.The original recreational dune buggy featured a low-cost fibreglass body bolted to the ubiquitous VW Beetle platform. The rear-engined chassis provided strong support for the roofless fun car, which spawned many imitators.Other exhibits include the angular, bucket-seated Typ 181 "Kuebelwagen" built for the German army. The competition Iltis and Tarek models of Paris-Dakar Rally fame are there to be admired, along with the current Touareg hybrid.""

More Loading>>>


After months, years of Volkswagen spin, Ryan Arciero pukes out...

March 13, 2010:

"As of now there are no plans to put anything else into it(the failed Race Touareg chassis). With that being said that doesn't mean that won't change in the future, you never know. We have talked about another power plant and looking at different ideas, but that is just water cooler talk for us. I am always hopeful of a return but that is just hope right now. Like I said you never know what the future holds and if things change to revive it for marketing reasons. Remember the entire purpose for the program was a Marketing/PR exercise. It was to promote Clean Diesel Technology, and the Touareg."

"I do get offers to drive both class 1 and TT (Trophy Truck) but I have been a little bit particular on who and what I race. Not because I am a snob by any means but because when I race my fun comes from being involved in a proper program that is organized and efforts are towards winning not just racing.

With that being said it doesn't have to be a team with millions of dollars in budget because that doesn't always = success but a team that has the passion to win and puts the time and effort into a great plan.

I have been talking to a couple teams for some of the races but nothing in stone yet. I hope to be able to put something together for sure as I am itching to get back to the winners circle."

Arciero went on to say how the VW people had the motor shipped back to Beerlandia and the failed chassis sits in abject failure in the Arciero Motorsports garage.

And just to note, Arciero and Miller haven't raced any Baja races, since.

The final score, Arciero Miller, $$$. Regular Baja racers, 0.

Here was the Original Press Release From SCORE & VW:

"Volkswagen of American, Inc., has recently announced a multi-year partnership with SCORE International to become the Official Vehicle of SCORE and the six-race SCORE Desert series.
Volkswagen has made its official announcement at the pre-race conference at the 39th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 which is the third race in the 2007 series. Both Volkswagen and SCORE officials were present to make the announcement.
Actually this is not the first time that Volkswagen has partnered with SCORE International way back in the year 1973 Volkswagen Thing has played a major part in the first three years of SCORE’s racing series. This has paved the way for a number of strong future finishes by Volkswagen products in a number of categorical divisions.
Volkswagen is fielding two official entries from its famous Dakar Rally Factory Team for the very first time. The two turbo-diesel Volkswagen Race Touareg 2s will compete in a special SCORE International Truck Class, which starts between the SCORE Trophy-Truck and Class 1 vehicles. The Race Touareg 2s are to be driven by American Mark Miller and South African Giniel de Villers. Miller has previously won the SCORE Trophy-Truck class twice in the SCORE Baja 500 and for this year’s Dakar Rally he ranked fourth while de Villiers won four stages in the rally and was able to finish in 11th position overall.
The Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 is powered by a 2.5 liter inline five cylinder TDI engine with a two-stage intercooled turbocharger, and revs up 285 horsepower and 440 ft. lbs. of torque. The engine was placed longitudinally behind the front suspension and transfers power to a six-speed sequential race gearbox. A permanent four-wheel drive system features three mechanical differentials with viscous locking which provide superior traction.
SCORE International has also announced that unofficial checkpoint passing times are to be posted on 'their website for' this weekend’s 39th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500. RallyTrack.com of Lakewood, California will provide the technology for each of the four official SCORE checkpoints in the race which will include specially-designed, rugged satellite communications system to relay the unofficial passing time of every vehicle, by class, to SCORE operations as well as posting data on the SCORE website.
The RallyTrack.com computer system will update the data on the SCORE website every 10 minutes. The same data are gong to be displayed at the finish line area of the race. SCORE International and SCORE Radio, in association with 'C is for Crackhead' Communications has launched a 90 minute, bi-weekly show available online. The show is to be hosted by Cameron Steele and Sal Fish will serve as a direct source of information, race updates, and interviews for the SCORE Desert racing community.

Volkswagen of America, Inc. was founded in the year 1955 and is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG with headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is Europe’s largest automaker and one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars. Its products include Rabbit, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, GTI, Jetta, GLI, Passat, Passat wagon, Eos, and Touareg which are distributed through 600 independent US dealers.""

SCORE got their money. Did the racers? Hell No!

Here's a pic of the chase VW Touregs the Mega car maker brought in for just ONE race in Baja Mexico.


Ryan-Arcierro was paid most of the money due from VW for the Baja project. Why did VW REALLY run away from their agreement with SCORE and the off-road community?
The lie that Volkswagen ran away from Baja racing this year "because of the economy", like screaming bitches, was borne out in todays world-wide news. VW thinks theyr'e going to take over the world. And they ran away from Baja, "because of the economy"?!?. Anyone who thinks they ran away from Baja racing because of the economy needs to read our article:

""Volkswagen will pay about 3.3 billion euros, or $4.7 billion dollars, for a 42 percent stake in Porsche’s automotive unit as part of a plan for the gradual merger of the two manufacturers.
Volkswagen, the largest European automaker, will fully integrate the maker of the 911 sports car into its operations in 2011, as long as all merger requirements are met, the two companies said in separate statements Thursday.
The carmakers announced plans in July for a transaction that would also include a state-owned Qatari investment fund buying 17 percent of Volkswagen and possibly a holding in Porsche as well. Executives have said the combined company would eventually overtake Toyota Motor, the world’s biggest automaker, in sales and profitability.
“This merger implies huge synergies,” Stefan Bratzel, head of the Center for Automotive Research Institute in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany, said before the announcement.
“Together, Volkswagen and Porsche can carve up the world’s car markets.”""

UPDATE JULY 15, 2009

Ryan Arcierro admits Volkwagen out of North American Off-Road-Baja for good. ""If" we come back, I'll be surprised".

"We still have the Jetta VW racing contract",, Ryan went on, but the two million dollar engine, Race Touareg will not be returning to Baja anytime soon.

Volkswagen pulled the plug, only on the off-road SCORE program. Everything else in North America is still operating. "Through January, February and March, VW finally pulled the plug for good."

The little racers contingency money, that was supposed to be there for 3 (three) years, was gone in a matter of months after the VW Race Touareg crapped across the finish line in 13th place.

Considering now that VW is out for good, guess that "the Baja VW Das Fail" was far worse than even reported here, on Baja Racing News.com

No press release has ever come out of VW Motorsports over its withdraw out of Baja racing. Arcierro confirming their contract with the North American Jetta racing program is still in operation, confirms the VW racing program in Baja Mexico was pulled in 2009, it failed, not because of the "economic situation", but, because of the embarrassing racing FAIL at the 2008 Baja 1000, documented EXCLUSIVELY, HERE.

VW, in keeping Arciero-Miller in the Jetta racing program this year, could have served to keep Mark and Ryans mouths shut. Except, of course, after this interview.

UPDATE MAY 14, 2009


"Volkswagen entered the Touareg into the race this year with the goal of finishing, not necessarily winning. The maker succeeded with flying colors. The race went well, with no flat tires and only one small clutch problem causing a few hours' delay. But in the end, VW crossed the finish line, popped the champagne, and became the first clean-diesel to compete in and finish the Baja 1000.

VW wasn't forthcoming with the actual amount of fuel or fuel stops it made in the race (the team will be back next year and doesn't want to give any useful information to its competitors), but we suspect that VW's tanks lasted a fair bit longer than those of its competitors, who ran big-blocks.

And the marketing reasoning:




The article and pics are worth the time to review.

The Baja Racing News.com executive summary: "VW wanted just to finish at the Baja 1000 2008". From the article.

Bottom Line: VW has been and continues to be, embarrassed by their finish. Proof, they have changed their story so many times, as evidenced in our expose, that they now are happy they JUST FINISHED. Hey Clark, 13th.

That being said. The Trophy Trucks at the next two SCORE Baja races are going to get reamed. We are sure, VW and SCORE consider the #1 podium position for the 2009 Baja 500 and Baja 1000, bought and paid for, by our German friends of Volkswagen.

Baja Racing News.com

UPDATE January 27, 2009

From the article:
"An unforeseen problem with a tiny crush-washer sealing the hydraulic fitting on the integral clutch mechanism--a 10-cent part--temporarily stopped Arciero at race-mile 44. Within minutes, the efficient AMR support crew was on the scene and within an hour, the entire clutch assembly was changed out and Arciero continued. Further on, he encountered deep silt and extremely rough terrain, which didn't allow enough speed, even in first gear, for the engine's turbos to spool up and develop the necessary torque to handle the terrain. This required Arciero (and Miller in the latter half of the race) to slip the clutch to gain rpm. This in turn put severe loads on the entire driveline. A second and third stop along the route to change out the complete transmission, clutch, and then the differential again slowed the team's effort. VW finished the race exactly where it started, 13th in class but 32nd overall."

The new story and good set of pics, worth the time to sort through the VW PR bull. CLICK HERE

UPDATE From December 12:

In a recent interview, Marty Fiolka commented on the recent Volkswagen failure. To be clear, Baja Racing News.com knows Mr. Fiolka was paid for services by Volkswagen. Marty said, "they (Volkwagen) knew it was a concern" (the engineering of the new Trophy Truck).

So, on the inside of Miller/Arcierro Racing & Volkswagen, it was known they had the problems that were identified in pre-race reports, found here. When
Baja Racing News.com reported on this internal knowledge, Mark Miller discounted the reports.

Fiolka went further, "Volkswagen has spent millions of dollars on this effort. It's the largest factory effort ever for SCORE". He continued, "I was hired to help them with the 2007 pre-race work, background work". Fiolka has worked with SCORE on many projects over the last eight years.

Marty Fiolka is the author of a book collaborating with SCORE and recently was an editor of Dirt Sports Magazine. Fiolka refused questions by
Baja Racing News.com

UPDATE December 1, 2008

See related Motortrend article HERE

In a recent interview, Mark Miller explained the real goal of VW in this race was a top 5. Podium, in the best of all worlds. (Podium=Top three)

"Disappointing", was the word used by Miller describing the 13th place finish of
the VW effort at this Baja 1000 2008. In the interview, no mention of the shot baja racer or whether Volkwagen even thinks about the lives of Americans who are at risk in the SCORE series of races in Mexico.

They will be back at the Baja 500, to continue to sell 'clean diesel technology'. Even though in the United States, diesel fuel is part of a world wide commodity price system that will never allow the fuel to be competitive to 'gas' fuel for cars. Now, gas can be bought in southern California at as low as $1.49 per gallon.

And Volkswagen cars are piling up on the west coast, in ports, because no one is buying them. Banks won't fund the dealers buying them now either, becasue delaers can't even sell the inventory they have on the lot. So, VW can keep pushing out all the press it wants about 'TDI' and clean diesel technology. They'll never see any measurable return on this investment.

And really, do you think southern california desert off-roaders care about that corporate message? The race-roaders, one of the smallest economic minorities
ever measured by FORBES, are the only people who value anything about SCORE, because, hey, maybe they can get some money out of the deal! The biggest FREEBIE crowd on the planet.

What's being sold here is the '50 state Touareg'. Truely, one of the biggest marketing mistakes in automotive history. Only Volkwagen, the Worlds Largest Car Company, could blow this one so bad. The lousy timing doesn't help. German made, diesel cars, shipped from Germany and outfitted with tons of emissions systems so that they can be sold in all 50 states. At a base price of $50,000 US.

VW auto plants in Germany are pausing production because of the stoppage in car sales world-wide. And, yes, the first VW auto manufacturing plant in the US has broken ground. But, with a German bank doing everything it can to get US carmakers on the auction block, so that VW can buy them, Americans need to look at the bigger picture here. It's not just about racing. It is about money and jobs.

Buy American!
Gary Newsome Reports

VW Motorsports

VW now has opened up a two front war in off-road racing, After the FAIL in Baja Mexico

Anybody remember the last time the Germans opened up a two front war? Baja Racing News.com predicts a Mitsu win at DAKAR 2008-2009


"40 days until the 2009 Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile. Everything for the "Dakar": the other life of the Volkswagen drivers. From Wolfsburg, on November 24, 2008. Exactly 40 days from now, a new life will start for the Volkswagen drivers at the Dakar Rally that is being staged -- for the first time -- in South America from 03 to 18 January. For a little over two weeks they will have to subordinate their days to the demands of the world's toughest rally in extremely difficult conditions. There is no doubt about the fact that for the teams in the four Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 vehicles the road to success can only be travelled with uncompromising discipline. "Highly detailed and professional planning is indispensable at the 'Dakar'; this also applies to the daily routines of the drivers," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen.

The German duo, Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk, will contest the "Dakar" in the Race Touareg for the first time. But both are intimately familiar with the irrefutable principle of the cross-country classic, "Expect the Unexpected". As varied and unpredictable the tracks of the 9,578-kilometre route may be, as well-organized are the day-to-day activities which the drivers and co-drivers experience on the 14 legs of the "Dakar" - with recurring rituals and duties, as a "peek behind the scenes" of the team of Dieter Depping and Timo Gottschalk demonstrated recently."
VW Press Release

Embarassing FAIL at the Baja 1000 2008

Pictures show the lowly finish of millions of dollars of technology and human capital of the VW Baja 1000 2008 effort. Remember race fans, this is the LARGEST AUTO MAKER IN THE WORLD, so large they have their bank in Germany downgrade American GM stock and Americans lose their jobs! Now are you getting the picture?

Funny, I never noticed, until seeing the shot of Miller at the finish on the race car, how much he looks like Steve Carrell as Michael Scott in, The Office.

They did better when they ran their 'Dakar' Race Touareg raw, in the 2007 Baja 500. Even cross-dresser Cammy Steele beat them in this race. Talk about embarassing! In this total publicity stunt, associated with the TDI Power push, they had Arcierro and Miller ham the champagne at the finish. Over a 13th place finish, while fleeing off into the Baja night, with the 'race black box'.

All the SCORE whores partied on VW money over the last several months and this race weekend. Now do you think north americas off-road suck-ups will speak up about what has really happened here?

Later, in a press release flurry, they stated ""VW discovered a faulty seal on the gearbox in the middle of the race that caused the unwanted replacement of the whole gearbox creating a great loss of time for the team. “Ultimately, a simple seal had an enormous effect with a big loss of time. This defect surprised us because it had never occurred before,” announced Don Tebbe, Project Manager for the Arciero Miller Racing (AMR) team which, in close cooperation with Volkswagen Motorsport, is accountable for the design and fielding of the Touareg. “Shortly before the finish we also exchanged the rear differential just to be on the safe side. From tests we knew that this part might possibly be at the limit. Work on an improved version is already in progress,” added Tebbe.

Ryan Arcierro responds to the cheating allegations:

"So I have been just now reading all the post and I thought I would chime in and tell the real story about what had been taking place. First of all Redline, I appologize if you feel we were cheating or intentionally dusting you out. That is and was not the case. Anyone that knows me knows that I speak truthfully and I do not BS. Let me run you through the events that took place. First of all right off the start we were having clutch problems that were hindering us from running the way we intended. At about mile 40 at the end of Ojos negros we lost the clutch completely. It ended up being the slave cylinder. Our boys did an awesome job, got it fixed and we were back underway. Don did land our helicopter which is a Red R44 (AMR Team Helicopter) at the site and like Chase 2 had said he did not touch the vehicle in any way. There were a ton of spectators their and if so it would of been really hard for him hide it. He did direct our chase personnel on how to fix the problem and Willie Valdez is the one who completed the fix on the Touareg. By Don landing and giving direction that in no way is cheating. Don also informed Sal Fish himself without being asked to about the fact that he did land and he did direct verbally the guys. He wanted to make sure Sal knew what we were doing. After we got moving again Benny and I were behind a crap load of 1/2 1600 and Class 5 cars. As we were coming up to mile 45 and up to the rock hill I stopped numerous times on course in order to let the cars in front of me make it. A couple of them got stuck and there was no way around them so I stayed patiently on course until they were able to get moving again. The other two helicopters above us were filming. In no way did I or anyone on the VW team direct them to dust you or anyone else on course out in order to keep you for catching or passing us. The only reason we were getting caught is becuase I was stopped numerous times to let the other vehicles in front of me clear the obsticals. I had a 1/2 1600 stuck on the rocks on the rock climb out of 55 for about 3 or 4 minutes so I had no choice but to stop and give him some time to get himself unstuck and get moving again. I stood there until he got just about all the way up the rock hill and then I started moving again. Once I got to the top I got by him and pretty much all the other vehicles that were directly in front of me. After that point I wasn't holding anyone up. I got to La Rumarosa on the Hwy stopped to put the lights down and no one for a long time was behind us until we finally lost the gearbox decesnding the La Rumaros Grade. I am sorry if you feel we were doing it intentionally but like I said in no way was that the case. I would of had absolutley no reason to hold anyone up or purposly block anyone especailly since at that point we were in survival mode to get to the finish. If the other helicopters where low it was because they were filming the situation that was around me. Like I said I had a gaggle of guys directly in front of Benny and i with no where for us to go but to be patient. Hope this clears everything up."

Miller After the race, "it was the clutch".

81 MARK MILLER/RYAN ARCIERO, 13th in Class. (Miller and Arciero drove the Volkswagen-Red Bull Baja Race Touareg TDI)

Arciero said: “I heard every one of the fans as we were going through the wash at the start because this Volkswagen engine is so quiet. We heard them and they were like that the entire time I was in the Touareg, it was amazing. They always come to the course and cheer us on.
We had a goal to get this thing ( It's a TOUAREG, can you say TOUAREG Ryan?)to the finish line and Mark did a heck of a job getting it here.”

Miller said: “I think Volkswagen is freakin’ awesome! (OMG) We went the whole day with no punctures -- BFG was phenomenal. We just had a great day. It was the first race and we expected to have some adversity and
we lost the clutch early, but we overcame it. It was such a team effort and I’m so happy. To come in with all this support that VW has, it’s first-rate. We have big plans for the future and this is the first step for us. We finished the Baja 1000 and that was our goal (keep saying that phrase VW, its a mantra now...)and now we can work on performance and try to win one of these things.” WOW, they were obviously working on adreneline. They'll need it, if they are going to go through, A CLUTCH, A GEAR BOX AND A REAR END every five hundred miles.

Insiders take on the Volkswagen-Miller-Arcierro Baja effort

"In Dakar race we hear a rumor that RG burned his clutch giving Mark Miller a tow... then later we hear that no such thing happened - Didn't some trackers fall off? Witnesses say speeding on the highway?
- I remember a class 1 car saying that he was pounding their rear bumper... they wouldn't move... then later we hear that no such thing happened - Now we hear that the helicoptors are blocking with dust.... would it be too much of an assumption to anticipate VW's answer... never happened? filming?

I remember the Dakar tracker and RG and Mark Miller WERE stopped in the same area for a while. I saw the pictures without the tracker. I read the posts by the other racers. What it all adds up to is a lot of circumstantial evidence that VW cares a whole lot about their reputation... enough to cheat? enough to refuse to acknowledge those who offer assistance? enough to speed without a tracker? block with helos?

When it is just one incident you never know who is telling the truth, or even if both parties are truthful and just looking at it from different perspectives. VW has sponsored SCORE and given rides to various media outlets. They've already endebted a lot of the entities that could out them; they discredit the rest.

My analysis is that they're serious about winning/marketing, and that they're attacking on all fronts: developing good technology, hiring good drivers, sponsoring SCORE, developing media contacts, AND cheating. I would have a lot more respect for them if they did all of the other stuff without the cheating!

Not looking for reasons why we got third. We had our own issues that caused our position but this could have caused us to have had something much worse along with anybody else that this happened to. Its not like they were really even running good at the time. This happened from about mile 43ish to the hill climb right before 55.
SCORE had mandated a couple of years ago (at a TT driver/ owner meeting down @ SPD) that all helicopters observing the race were to be no lower than 500 feet, and to the right of the race vehicle they were observing. All re-fueling or landing was to be made at least 1/4 mile from the race course to keep the dust to a minimum, keep people/ spectators safe, and as not to interfere with the race. These rules seemed to go out of the window within 2 races right after that meeting though."


Some Official Answers on the VW Trophy Truck

11/21/08 5:12 PM

More reports:

"It was the Gear Box. I saw Andrew with Xtrac at the Borrego pit. He said at Mile 130 the had to change out the gear box. He was not sure what broke inside. He did say they were more worried about rear ends, instead of the gear box. I saw it come through Borrego and I can't believe how quiet it is. They really need a siren on it, because I could see how a Bike during the day (during the race) could not know they were right behind them. It was quieter than the Super Duty. I did ask Andrew if he knew what the race schedule for next year was? He said he did not know. My guess would be that the next race will be the Baja 500" Another: They were down at race mile 130 for two and a half hours installing a brand new one".

After the race Press Release:

""For the first time in the 41-year history of the Baja 1000, a vehicle with innovative clean diesel technology successfully competed in the demanding and fiercely competitive high performance trophy truck class in the Baja 1000.
"Our aim for our first Baja 1000 was to finish the event with our all-new Touareg TDI – and we managed to do that. That's why we're really satisfied," said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "It was the toughest Baja I've ever driven, the track simply was mercilessly rough," commented Mark Miller, a multiple Baja winner, after arriving at the finish early Saturday morning (November 22, 2008). "At our very first running we immediately showed that the Touareg and the clean TDI technology are a powerful package."""

Director of Volkswagen Motorsports, Nissen Quoted, "our goal was to...we are satisfied to finish" this years Baja 1000. Obviously, this quote came out AFTER the failed race performance of Volkswagen at this years 2008 Baja 1000. On a 13th across the line, this is the best face they can put on things.

In association with the huge marketing push of "50 state diesel Touaregs" at the LA Auto Show and the Baja Race Touareg TDI unveiling there, just days before this race, all of the press for "Clean Diesel" fails to hit the mark with a "claimed" 13th place finish.

Besides, any diesel is "clean". Just maintain the injectors properly. My brother owns a VW dealership on the east coast. (Happy face placed here) Be aware race fans, one of my first, hands on jobs in Baja, was delivering and maintaining diesels to the shrimping fleets on the Sea of Cortez, after WWII. Of course, that's after whipping Hitler, under Patton. Been there, still doing that. Gary

"Defective seal causes major time loss

The Touareg TDI, which (was) powered by a 550-hp 5.5l V12 diesel engine from the Volkswagen Group, was running almost perfectly across the entire distance. Merely a defective seal on the gearbox caused a loss of time at an early stage and, subsequently, even required the gearbox to be exchanged. “Ultimately, a simple seal had an enormous effect with a big loss of time. This defect surprised us because it had never occurred before,” said Don Tebbe, Project Manager for the Arciero Miller Racing (AMR) team which, in close collaboration with Volkswagen Motorsport, is responsible for the development and fielding of the Baja Touareg. “Shortly before the finish we also exchanged the rear differential just to be on the safe side. From tests we knew that this part might possibly be at the limit. Work on an improved version is already in progress,” Tebbe added.

Volkswagen Refuses to hand over Black Box, Baja 1000 race results now in question

Original Report 11/22/08 5:41 AM

Confirmed by
Baja Racing News.com this morning, by a high level snarky source at International Racing Consultants, "the Volkwagen Baja Race Touareg TDI team refused to give us (the racing results company for the Baja 1000) the black box", "we still do not have the black box that was on the Volkswagen Trophy Truck in this race".

This makes all the results for the Volkswagen effort in the 2008 Baja 1000, questionable at least.

Early on, the purpose built Volkwagen effort "was hurting". Several reports from Ojos Negros stated severe mechanical problems had the chase crews in tow, while the Volkwagen team scrambled to solve the currently unknown issues. Now with the news of the 'black box' not being turned over to the racing results experts, it raises the obvious question. Does sponsor money pay for race results?

Baja Racing News.com EXCLUSIVE

November 19, 2008 UPDATED!

November 15, 2008 UPDATE

Clarion call to all the other Baja desert racers! This just in! Mark Miller has been "dominating" you for over 20 years. When one claims dominance in a form of racing, you're really saying 'over other racers in your class'.

From the press release you would think Mark Miller is Superman. Well, Baja Racing News.com reviewed Miller and Arcierros records of Baja racing. At best, its a mixed bag. When in competition as Arcierro-Miller, not a good record, most directly, recently. That roll with the new Trophy Truck was glaring, lots of Did Not Show-ups and DNF's.

With Volkswagen, you get this spin press and more support. Baja Racing News.com sees this effort in the top ten. If they don't, its a BIG Baja 1000 embarassment. Just like earlier this year, in the DAKAR replacement race in Central Europe Rally, where Miller-Volswagen crashed out.

From the Press Release:

""Mark Miller has been selectively dominating the sport of off-road racing for over twenty years. His unprecedented driving skills were recognized by one of the top leaders in Volkswagen motorsport, and in 2005 Mark made a full time commitment as a factory works driver for the Volkswagen Motorsports team based in Hanover, Germany.
"To become a professional racing driver was the best decision of my life. I just should have made it earlier," said Mark Miller. In his youth he actually sacrificed a promising career in motorbike racing to study. As Volkswagen factory driver he now traces the path in reverse: The investment manager withdrew from the business to concentrate solely on his motorsport activities. Miller's strength: He is one hundred percent committed; for example he undertakes an intensive fitness program. His mental strength helps him to concentrate but stay relaxed at the same time: "One of my plus points is that I don't target any unrealistic goals and in doing so don't put myself unnecessarily under pressure," Miller added.
Miller, who is one of the few Americans to start the Dakar Rally, is regarded as multi-talented. In 1979, he competed in the SCORE Off-road Challenge for the first time on a motorcycle in his homeland, was successful in a NASCAR truck series, and scored several wins in the Trophy Truck class of the famous Baja 1000 and Baja 500 rallies.
Growing up in the racing world Ryan has experienced first-hand what victory feels like. Maintaining the legacy of his legendary racing family Ryan is determined to continue 50 years plus of Motorsports success that the Arciero family has worked so strongly to achieve. Whether Ryan is racing a 1000 mile off-road race or turning laps on the pavement, the skills and experience he gained have produced one of the most diverse drivers and successful racing resumes. As a Volkswagen factory driver, Ryan was instrumental in the inaugural season of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series, where he coached and mentored a group of thirty up and coming talented young drivers on what it takes to succeed in the world of professional motorsports.
"The last time I won the Baja 1000 was in 2004 and it is something that drives me more and more everyday to get back to that feeling inside of being the best at what I do and to win one of the most demanding races in the world. For that day or that moment you are the best, number 1, and that feeling for me is like no other," said Arciero. "To now line up at the start of the 2008 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in the all-new Volkswagen clean diesel powered Baja Race Touareg TDI Trophy Truck for the very first time will also be a great feeling that I am really looking forward to," added Arciero.""

More press release magic:

"If the Dakar Rally is the world’s toughest rally, then the Baja 1000 in Mexico is its most unusual event: 630 miles – a little more than 1,000 kilometres – without any interruptions, constantly against the clock, on the most brutal terrain. The rules of engagement: there are but a few. The field: it ranges from the production VW Beetle to the 800-hp Trophy Truck in the Unlimited Class, added to which are two-wheeled vehicles and quads. Mark Miller, who is also part of Volkswagen’s "Dakar” factory line-up, and his American compatriot Ryan Arciero will take turns at the wheel of the 550-hp off-road prototype – after all, 14 hours of driving time have been calculated for this distance.

The origins: Volkswagen marks the beginning of the Baja 1000

41 years ago, on 19 April 1967, the Baja 1000 started to its inaugural round on the Mexican peninsula Baja California. The first winners: Vic Wilson/Ted Mangels in the Meyers Manx Volkswagen, the forefather of all dune buggies. It took the two Americans 27 hours and 38 minutes to cover the distance, which broke the existing motorcycle record on the route from Tijuana to La Paz by several hours. This marked the beginning of two legends: the Baja 1000 evolved into America’s most important off-road competition, comparable to the later fame acquired by the Dakar Rally in other parts of the world. And it marked the beginning of a long, successful tradition of Volkswagen products and assemblies at the Baja 1000. The technology of the robust Beetle in the hand of privateers fighting for class victory has since remained unrivalled as many as 13 times – and continues to make its mark to this day. No less than eight vehicle classes today are still open to Volkswagen chassis, engines or complete vehicles from any model year and, to some extent, even expressly prescribe the use of this technology. This is good reason for Volkswagen to complement its factory commitment by an attractive promotional programme: in November 2008 some 100,000 U.S. dollars in prize money will be offered to the best drivers of these traditional vehicle designs.

The objective: "Clean Diesel Racing” on the important U.S. market

Volkswagen continues its motorsport tradition in the USA and, since 2006 with "Clean Diesel Racing”, has been proving its claim of technological leadership. In 2006 and 2007 production Touareg V10 TDI vehicles fitted with additional safety equipment contested the famous Pikes Peak hillclimb race and clinched class victory in 2007.

In June 2007, two "Dakar version” Race Touareg vehicles powered by 2.5-litre TDI engines tackled the Baja 500, the Baja 1000’s "little sister”. Without a refuelling stop, the two factory drivers Mark Miller (USA) and Giniel de Villiers (ZA) completed the 420-mile distance (676 km) and achieved a spectacular one-two class victory as well as places eleven and 16 overall among 273 vehicles in the field. 2008 saw the inception of a circuit racing programme featuring the Volkswagen Jetta TDI as the first diesel-powered one-make cup in the USA.

The development of the Touareg TDI for Baja off-road racing represents the new peak of the programme for a key region: along the U.S. West Coast, off-road or sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are extremely popular. There is also a sizable aftermarket for SUV accessories. The Baja 1000 on the Baja California peninsula has acquired cult status with off-road vehicle enthusiasts. This fame has been nourished across decades by the participation of many big names in the event: Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Sébastien Bourdais, Oriol Servià, Jimmy Vasser, Danny Sullivan, Michel Jourdain jr., Gunnar Nilsson, Roberto Guerrero, Parnelli Jones or Robby Gordon. The rally is so famous in the USA that in 2005 a documentary about the Baja 1000, entitled "Dust to Glory”, hit the cinemas.

The event: mammoth proportions, improvisation and an "invisible” rival

Whether the 24 Hours at the Nürburgring with the new Volkswagen Scirocco or the 14 days of the Dakar Rally with the Volkswagen Race Touareg: the Baja 1000 has a bit of both but is even more condensed, unconventional and, ultimately, does not compare with anything else; it is a unique and tremendously big challenge for man and material. The basic rule: the rival is not sitting in the next vehicle – the rival is the track itself. The extreme Baja route has to be overcome and finished, but this is managed by just very few. Year after year Sal Fish, who has been President of the organiser, SCORE, since 1973, and his team come up with a different route. It always starts south of California on the other side of the U.S. border. The rally is staged on the Baja California peninsula, which encompasses two federal states of the United Mexican States.

The track: 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-hp Trophy Trucks. Start and finish of the course are in the coastal town Ensenada. For the 629.74 miles (1,013.47 km), a maximum driving time of 31 hours has been set. This track distance equates to roughly two typical stages of the Dakar Rally. Stops in terms of interruptions of the timed classification (such as between the individual legs of the Dakar Rally) or established locations for service are not provided for. Every stop made for the purposes of refuelling, driver change or repairs is counted as overall driving time. There is no official time-taking at the six control points to be passed. This means that rivals often remain "invisible” – the positions of the contenders only become clear at the finish. The route in 2008 includes many sections which have not been used for the rally in two decades.

The challenge: to perform a masterful feat on the ground and in the air

Planning for the Baja is up to the teams themselves. The technical rules: in the Trophy Truck class vehicle development is almost unrestricted, only turbo petrol engines are prohibited. Sporting regulations: practice with so-called "pre-runners” (special practice vehicles) is permitted as soon as the route has been announced, service points along the route as well as chase cars on the rally tracks are allowed. Volkswagen uses eight Touareg vehicles as so-called chase cars – the robust production vehicle with superb off-road capabilities is ideally suited for transporting mechanics, tools and spare parts. The chase cars may follow the competition vehicle on the route in the direction of travel, but may not drive in the opposite direction.

Helicopters are permitted as well. Like all top teams, Volkswagen will deploy a helicopter. The aircraft are only allowed to warn and navigate but may not transport spare parts or mechanics. In addition, a night-time flying ban for helicopters is in effect in Mexico. The number and locations of the stops are based on the following factors: the range of one fuel tank filling, the exchange of worn-out spare tyres, the scheduled driver changes as well as any repairs. Another logistical challenge: access to the track is highly limited due to trying topographical conditions – many a rough passage cannot be overcome by any wheeled vehicle in the world attempting to access the route from normal roads. Instruments for navigation (compass, GPS) and communications (radios, mobile and satellite phones) – in stark contrast to the Dakar Rally – are not limited at the Baja 1000. However, a limit emerges in a completely different way: even the most advanced technology is useless in the frequently encountered areas without coverage.

The answer: the Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg with a V12 TDI engine

The surprising success achieved with the "Dakar” Touareg sparked an ambitious programme by Volkswagen of America specifically geared to the Baja rallies. In close collaboration with the team of Mark Miller and Ryan Arciero an innovative prototype for the Trophy Truck class was created. For the first time, an automobile manufacturer dares to tackle this class with diesel technology. The rear-wheel driven Baja Touareg TDI’s power of more than 550 hp is supplied by a 5.5-litre V12 diesel engine from the Volkswagen Group. The efficient and fuel-saving TDI engine, together with a gearbox operated by steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, promises to develop its power in a clearly better, and thus tyre-saving, way than spark-injection engines do. Whereas the fuel tank capacity of the petrol-powered vehicles is unlimited and typically designed to handle 120 to 130 gallons, the diesel vehicles must settle for 65 U.S. gallons (246 litres). The chassis, with a tubular frame and a rigid rear axle with an enormous suspension travel of 75 centimetres, follows the typical principles of Trophy Trucks. The Baja Touareg TDI is prepared and fielded by Arciero-Miller-Racing in the USA; the engine is prepared in Germany. Visually, the Baja Touareg TDI will clearly resemble the production vehicle. However, in all of its proportions the prototype is slightly ten per cent bigger than its production role model; it is practically an XL-sized Touareg.

Mark Miller and Ryan Arciero are two proven experts in the cockpit. Both have won several Baja 1000 and Baja 500 competitions as well as off-road titles in the USA. 46-year-old Mark Miller from Phoenix/Arizona is navigated by 34-year-old Willie Valdez jr. from Los Angeles/California. Ryan Arciero hails from Los Angeles/California and is 35 years old. He comes from a family that has been active in racing for over 50 years and for whose teams the likes of Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Michael Andretti and other well-known names have driven. Arciero’s co-driver is 32-year-old Benny Metcalf jr. from San Clemente/California. The decision about the time and place for the driver change will be taken after the track inspection and strategy planning.

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen and Clark Campbell, Motorsport Manager of Volkswagen of America, agree about the objective: "At the Volkswagen Touareg TDI’s maiden race we want to master the route of the Baja 1000 and reach the finish. At such a tough and unusual event this would be a first success and a promising starting base for the first full off-road season in 2009.”" End release.

November 10, 2008

German Bank rates GM stock as "worthless"

"GM stock spirals after analyst’s grim forecast
A key Wall Street analyst slashed his target price for General Motors Corp. shares to zero on Monday, saying the company could run short of cash by December and that even with government aid, shareholders are likely to lose their investments. “Even if GM is able to secure immediate U.S. government support, we believe that GM’s predicament has the potential to set in motion a sequence of events that would be bankruptcy-like,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache, who lowered his rating on GM shares to “sell” from “hold.” Lache said GM’s U.S. cash could fall to $5 billion by December, which would not be enough to pay the supplier bills for U.S. operations that come due in January. He said that government aid would likely crowd out unsecured investors such as shareholders."
Mas y Mas Following...

First turbo-diesel Trophy Truck in SCORE series
Volkswagen of America, Inc. has announced the all new Volkswagen-Red Bull Baja Race Touareg TDI, powered by a clean diesel TDI engine, will enter this year’s 41st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race in the SCORE Trophy Truck class. Volkswagen will unveil its purpose-built Race Touareg TDI Trophy Truck during Los Angeles Auto Show.
“We’ve had success running our clean diesel TDI powered vehicles at the Dakar Rally, Baja 500, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and also in our Jetta TDI Cup series,” said Clark Campbell, motorsport manager, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “This entry of a new, purpose-built Touareg TDI Trophy Truck is the next step in the evolution of our motorsport program and showcases our commitment to racing clean diesel vehicles and to SCORE International.”
The Volkswagen-Red Bull Baja Race Touareg TDI will roll off from the 14th position when the race starts on Friday, November 21, the positions were announced at a drawing held October 11 in Temecula, California. “The first 10 starting positions are reserved for the top 10 series point’s leaders competing in the SCORE Trophy Truck class,” said Campbell. “With this being our first time competing in the SCORE Trophy Truck class, drawing 14th actually gives us a very good starting position.”
The Volkswagen-Red Bull Baja Race Touareg TDI will be driven by the Baja veterans Mark Miller, Cave Creek, Ariz. and Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif. Arciero and Miller have seven career SCORE Trophy-Truck race wins between them, including three wins driving together. Willie Valdez Jr. a seasoned off-road racer and Baja competitor will be navigating for Miller and Benny Metcalf Jr. a veteran of off-road and SCORE series racing will navigate for Arciero.

Volkswagen-Red Bull Baja Race Touareg TDI Specifications

Engine 5.5 Liter, 90 degree V-12 TDI Twin Turbo Diesel
Valve train 4 valves per cylinder, DOHC
Induction Dual Garrett TR 30 R with dual 43.5mm air-restrictors, 2.94 bar (absolute) pressure
Emissions Dow Automotive Diesel Particle Filters (2)
Horsepower 550 HP (405kW)
Torque 625 ft-lb (850Nm)
Layout Mid-engine, rear wheel drive
Transmission Xtrac 6 Speed Sequential
Rear Axle Custom Built solid 9” Rear Axle

Front Double A-Arm Suspension – 25” wheel travel (63 cm)
Rear 4-Link Rear Suspension – 30” wheel travel (76 cm)
Front Shocks Fox Racing Shocks - 3.0 Coil-over with 3.0 Bypass/Multi-adjustable Dampener
Rear Shocks Fox Racing Shocks - 3.0 Coil-over with 3.0 Bypass/Multi-adjustable Dampener
Springs Eibach Coils

Wheels KMC 17” Custom Forged Beadlock
Tires BFGoodrich Baja KRT 37x13.5x17
Owner Volkswagen of America Inc.
Chassis Design Arciero Miller Racing
Body Design Volkswagen Design Center California
Wheelbase 125 in. (317 cm)
Overall Length 213 in. (541 cm)
Track Width 92 in. (233 cm)
Overall Height 78 in. (198 cm)
Weight 5650 lbs. (2562 kg)
Brakes Brembo 6 Piston Calipers
Steering Lee Manufacturing
GPS Lowrance 9200 system
Seats Sparco Carbon Fiber Racing seats

Fuel Cell 65 Gallon (240 Liter) Capacity, designed by Harmon Fuel Cells
Sponsors Sponsored by Red Bull, BFGoodrich Tires, Dow Automotive, Oakley, KMC Wheels.


October 31, 2008

Possible Mark Miller Response (unconfirmed) to the Editorial Board of Baja Racing News.com Baja Race Touareg TDI story:
"That (Oct. 30 Update/Editorial Board Conclusions[Below])article is inaccurate in many areas. I only have to say that Don Tebbe and Trevor Harris designed the chassis and coordinated everything with Volkswagen Motorsport. They are the premier design and development team in off-road racing and they are at AMR on this long term project."
October 30 Update
The Editorial Board of Baja Racing News got together on Tuesday, via telephone and has reviewed the chances of the Arciero-Miller-VW Baja 1000 2008 effort. Gary Newsome/Editor, The Fly, Mr. X, Dan McCormack and the Publisher of Baja Racing News.com make up the Editorial Board, here are our conclusions:
We are dissappointed that the development schedule for the "Arciero-Miller, Baja Race Touareg TDI-VW " seems forced and behind schedule. The Arciero-Miller race outfit, only now has time, to prerun the Baja course. In a winning effort, a minimum of two preruns should have been accomplished by this Saturday, November 1. With the dog and pony show at the LA Auto Show on November 19, time is very short.

We are uncomfortable with the design process having so much Arciero-Miller (A-M) input. The racing team has not proven itself in any other design efforts, thus our feelings. An insider at A-M tells Baja Racing News.com, "the geometry has been forced", "the rear suspension is not at any stability level to be happy with". Now, if this was a VW driven and controlled process, we would be much more comfortable with the effort.

A-M has not proven itself to be a winning, stable racing effort at the support to vehicle level, during recent Baja races. This loop course, to and from Ensenada for this years race, will test great teams and break all the rest. A host of chase chokepoints, topography and team strength issues will pressure everyone, including A-M, even more than last years run to Cabo.

There are going to be several paved road timing and access problems that will cripple some teams chase crews. Road accidents, Army security and drunken locals accidents will make it so.

Clark Campbell, spokesman of VW Motorsports, in a late interview commented on any 2009 racing plans for Baja Mexico, "We haven't decided on anything for 2009". Yet, in another interview, noting the recent racing history of Baja off-road racing, '67-on, "Volkswagen’s history in off-road racing dates back to the first Baja 1000 in 1967", stressed Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen.

Nissen continued, "next
month’s Baja 1000, the first for VW and its new specially designed Touareg, will set the stage for a serious challenge in 2009", the auto maker’s racing chief says. Motorsports Director Kris Nissen is realistic about the auto maker’s chances in its first go-around at the Baja 1000 race next month, but vows "2009 will be a watershed". Kris Nissen pictured.

VW Motorsports, in last years Baja 500 Touaregs, had a better chance in last years Baja 1000. Too bad they decided to skip the 40th running. We forecast the A-M VW Baja 1000 2008 results, will disappoint many VW racing fans expecting a big win. Baja Racing News.com sees a little win is possible, but the Riviera Team is too good, not to choose for the 2008 Baja 1000 favorite this time around, for Baja Glory.


Baja Racing News.com

Kris Nissen, VW Motorsports Director
October 30, 2008

WOLFSBURG, Beerlandia : October 30, 2008 – Volkswagen AG hasn’t raced in its first Baja 1000 yet, but it already is promising to do better the next time around.

Motorsports Director Kris Nissen is realistic about the auto maker’s chances in its first go-around at the Baja 1000 race next month but vows 2009 will be a different story.
VW will unveil its specially built Touareg TDI Baja racer at the Los Angeles auto show Nov. 19 before heading off for the Nov. 20-23 event, which starts and finishes in Ensenada, Mexico. The racecar is powered by the same 5.5L V-12 turbodiesel used in the Audi R10 Le Mans racecar. It generates 550 hp and 627 lb.-ft. (850 Nm) of torque in the 4,850 -lb. (2,200-kg) Touareg.

“We don’t expect to win the first race,” Nissen says here at a media backgrounder on VW’s expansive racing program. “It’s a new vehicle, with rear-wheel drive; a heavier vehicle. “We’ll do our best to finish the race, then work hard in the winter – and I promise we’ll be a winner in 2009. Our goal is to go to the 2009 Baja 1000 next November and have a good feeling we can win the race.” Although it is outspent on racing by sister Audi AG, Nissen says he believes VW has built over the past four decades the auto industry’s most expansive racing program.

In addition to this year’s entry in the Baja 1000, VW races in the Dakar Rally Series, 24-Hours of Nurburgring, the Formula 3 Euro Series and the Formula ADAC Masters. It also operates its own racing circuits, such as the Polo Cup in Germany and Jetta TDI Cup in the U.S., in eight countries worldwide and is looking to continue expanding into new markets. “Our goal is to have national cups in as many countries as possible,” Nissen says. “Our goal is to add one new country a year.” The Cup programs give young drivers a chance to race VW-provided vehicles at relatively low investment costs.

In the U.S., for example, racers pay $35,000 per season, with VW providing the track-prepped Jetta TDI sedans, maintenance and training. Drivers are responsible only for their helmets and travel expenses. The season’s winner gets $100,000, but that is hiked to $150,000 if he is signed to a professional contract within six months of the final race.

Next year’s Jetta TDI Cup already has drawn interest from more than 1,000 potential drivers, and VW has yet to officially solicit applications. The eventual list will be culled to 100 who will be invited to a Sonoma, CA, track to select the circuit’s 30 drivers. These will be judged not only on their driving abilities but also for their media-friendly skills and how well they would handle other off-track duties. For now, VW is getting ready for the Dakar Rally, which Nissen says is the auto maker’s No.1 racing program. Slated for Jan. 3-18, the 5,600-mile (9,000-km) race starts and ends in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with about 90% of it run over sandy terrain and under the most extreme conditions.

VW is entering the race with the Touareg 2, powered by a 5-cyl. turbodiesel generating 280 hp and 443 lb.-ft. (600 Nm) of torque. It features a 5-speed manual transmission and permanent 4-wheel drive. Two similar Touaregs competed in VW’s first foray in Baja in 2007, finishing a surprising 11th and 16th overall in the 500-mile (805-km) Baja 500. Weighing in at 3,942 lbs. (1,788 kg), the Dakar-bound Touareg 2 can hit 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 6.9 seconds and has a maximum speed of 118 mph (190 km/h).

“This is the hardest race on people and technology,” Nissen says. “It’s absolutely incredible.” Participating gives VW the chance to prove its mettle in front of some 600 million people who watch the race worldwide, he says.
Interview End.

Baja Racing News.com Lucerne VW TT SPY PHOTOS+VID

Here it is folks, Arciero Miller Racing, testing the unofficially non-unveiled naked VW Baja Race Touareg, that was under testing for weeks at Lucerne.

Baja Racing News.com EXCLUSIVE

UPDATED! Oct. 27

Miller Interview:

Interviewer: In the next few weeks, with the Baja 1000 in Mexico where you´ll be using a newly developed Baja-Touareg with a V12 TDI engine, you´ve got another personal highlight on your agenda. To what extent will this event help you to prepare for the "Dakar" - and vice versa?

Miller: "The Baja 1000 is a fantastic weekend event for which we prepare with similar care as we do for the Dakar Rally. That´s why we spent a lot of time in the California desert during the past three weeks to test and prove the durability of the completely new prototype. However, as we´re practically starting from scratch and the regulations differ a lot, there are no technical commonalities with the Race Touareg. Nevertheless, the work on the Baja project helps a great deal to sharpen one´s senses for many different tasks."

Interviewer: Both the "Dakar" and the Baja 1000 require good physical fitness. How do you physically prepare for these two events?

Miller: "Unless I´m testing in Morocco or Mexico a daily fitness regime is part of my schedule like going to the office is for others. This year, in addition to endurance training on the bicycle, the programme also includes aerobics exercises. Compared with the past three years, this is a new element in my preparations."

UPDATE October 16, 2008

From The Arciero Miller VW TEAM: "All is going great with the VW Touareg. We just finished up testing on Friday. We had been out in Lucerne for the past three weeks testing the new TT. All went well and we are very excited for the fans to see the new Touareg. It looks incredible. I am not allowed to release any pictures of it. That is Clarks responsibility and you are more than welcome to drop him a note and see if he can allow you to do anything. I don’t think he will allow it but you can ask.
We are very excited for our unveil of the new TT at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 19th. That will be the first time the public and media get a chance to see the Touareg with the body, paint and decals. It will look amazing. All the fans in Baja will be very excited I promise."

UPDATE September 10, 2008

Interview with Clark Campbell of VW Motorsports

Firstly, the Baja Race Touareg TDI, the next generation in off-road, WILL BE at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19, 2008, before the 2008 Baja 1000. This project has been a "great learning experience", Campbell said. "Right now, the motor-chassis-suspension has been completed. The body is being done at our VW design center in Santa Monica."

No testing has been completed yet.

"The motor produces 750 horse and 1100 torque." The new VW Baja Race Touareg is limited to 65 gallons of fuel. The other classes have 100 gallon limits.

At the 2007 Baja 500, the race Touaregs ran past the other classes that had to refuel. "Even with only nine inches of wheel travel, we were only 50 minutes behind the first trophy trucks across the line." The VW didn't have to stop for fuel." Pistol Pete called them "the little blue speed bumps", those have now morphed into the next Trophy Truck eating nightmares that will ruin Petes baja fun, among others.

Campbell also pointed out the differences between with the stock Cayennes and the Touaregs. "The Cayenne is a road vehicle. The Touareg is designed for the dirt." Its heritage is off-road and we'll see that in this years Baja 1000".


The Road To Baja. The story of Volkswagen racing in the Baja 1000 in November 2008.
The Original Story:
Proving the new Trophy Touaregs, two have been produced, for the first time will be tested in less than a month. Clark Campbell, VW motorsports manager USA, confirmed recently. Campbell showed some photos to this reporter of Baja Racing News.com of the revolutionary German racing truck-SUV.

The vision in the new design from Don Teebe and Willie Valdez Junior, will be a scheme of silver, blue, red and yellow. An sdditional racing vehicle, an upgraded twin of the first, is in progress. The other will be released in the 2009 racing season. The knights of the desert, pilots-races chosen by Campbell to man the new units, are Mark Miller and Ryan Arciero, but the other vehícles will have two surprises at the wheel, Giniel De Villers and the Carlos Spanish Sa'inz.

The tests of the Trophy Truck Touaregs will be in different deserts from California and Arizona, but Campbell assured this reporter that VW will also come to Baja California, San Felipe, before the 1000, to prove the racing trucks, as well as the routes, since the plan of Volkswagen is to not just race, but, to win the race. The November Baja 1000 will be the first race for the new trophies.

Gary Newsome Reports

BAJA RACE TOUAREG TDI (SCORE Trophy Truck Division)coming in 2008. Volkswagen announced that it will build and race a competition Touareg TDI race vehicle in the 2008 SCORE International Racing Series. Competing in the SCORE Trophy Truck Open Production - Unlimited Class, the vehicle will be introduced in late 2008. The Touareg TDI race vehicle will be driven by multiple Baja winners, Mark Miller, a longtime Volkswagen Factory driver, and Ryan Arciero. Miller set the record for best finishing time in a diesel vehicle at the 2007 Baja 500. Arciero set a world record at the 2007 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in July with the fastest time in the alternative fuel diesel truck high performance showroom stock division.”

The SEMA PRESS RELASE, "LAS VEGAS — Volkswagen of America, Inc. has announced that it will build and race a competition Touareg TDI race vehicle in the 2008 SCORE International Racing Series. Specifically engineered to address the unique and harsh terrain of the Baja peninsula, the Touareg TDI race vehicle will compete in the SCORE Trophy Truck Open Production – Unlimited Class. The vehicle will be introduced in late 2008.
"Volkswagen's off-road racing heritage dates back to the very first Baja 1000 and we've been very successful in recent off-road racing events such as the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Dakar Rally and a fantastic result at the 2007 Baja 500," said Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. "The experiences gained from previous racing successes with high-powered diesel engines will allow us to build the Touareg TDI race vehicle to address the various challenges of Baja."

"The vehicles and technology that Volkswagen has contributed to the SCORE Baja races for the past 40 years have helped to define the series," said Sal Fish, president and CEO of SCORE International. "We look forward to continuing the relationship with them and bringing clean diesel technology to the racers."
The Touareg TDI race vehicle will be driven by multiple Baja winners, Mark Miller, a long –time Volkswagen Factory driver, and Ryan Arciero. Miller set the record for best finishing time in a diesel vehicle at the 2007 Baja 500. Arciero set a world record at the 2007 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in July with the fastest time in the alternative fuel diesel truck high performance showroom stock division."

At the recent Baja 500, Volkswagen was been selected as the Grand Marshall for the race and was represented at the event by Clark Campbell, Volkswagen of America Motorsports Manager. Volkswagen is developing the Trophy Truck Touareg TDI For Famous Baja 1000 in southern California, today.

This 2008 motorsport season, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is contesting the popular U.S. off-road racing series SCORE with a Touareg TDI. The Touareg TDI is being developed specifically for the extremely tough demands of the Mexican peninsula Baja California, which, since 1967, has been the annual venue of the most famous event of this kind – the Baja 1000. The Volkswagen prototype will be prepared for the "SCORE Trophy Truck Open Production – Unlimited Class". "Volkswagen’s history in off-road racing dates back to the first Baja 1000 in 1967," stressed Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "In the world famous Dakar Rally, which at a length of 9,000 kilometres over 15 legs is the most demanding offroad competition of all, as well as in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb Race and in the Baja 500 in June 2007 Volkswagen achieved remarkable results. These experiences, which we gained with innovative diesel engines in the various offroad vehicles, are helping us to build a Touareg TDI prototype that will master the very special challenge of a Baja and thrill the enthusiastic American audience."

"Baja Trophy Truck racing is a very special challenge, beyond the B models and beyond most vehicles with Volkswagen components. The driver line-up for the Touareg TDI prototype that is supposed to make its début at the end of 2008 has been determined already: Mark Miller, Volkswagen factory driver since 2005, who, in fourth place overall finished the Dakar Rally in January 2007 as the best of the factory drivers, is part of this motorsport program, as is his compatriot Ryan Arciero. In addition, Miller at the wheel of a Volkswagen Race Touareg was the best driver of a diesel-powered vehicle at the Baja 500 in June. Arciero in a production-derived Touareg V10 TDI in the "Alternative Fuel Diesel Truck High-Performance Showroom Stock division” set a new record in the world famous Pikes Peak Hillclimb Race in July.

Sal Fish, President and CEO of SCORE International, who recently paid a visit to Volkswagen Motorsport in Germany, welcomed the Volkswagon commitment: "Over the past 40 years, Volkswagen’s vehicles and technology had a significant impact on how the SCORE Baja events basically developed. We look forward to the future of this partnership and also to clean diesel technology making its way into our sport.” With 13 victories since 1967, Volkswagen has shaped the Baja 1000 as one of the leading engine manufacturers, particularly in the first two decades. To this day, several classes of the non-stop race across the Baja California peninsula are specifically reserved for Volkswagen.

For several years now, Volkswagen has been running diesel-powered Touaregs in a variety of off-road series around the world, including the Dakar Rally, and in the last couple of years, they have won their classes at the Baja 500 and Pikes Peak Hill Climb. The versions used so far have run either a 2.5L five-cylinder engine or the 5.0L V10. Arciero Miller Racing announced at last year's SEMA show that it was building a new Touareg to compete in the SCORE Trophy Truck Open Production - Unlimited Class. VW of America PR boss Steve Keyes revealed that the new truck would be powered by the 6.0L V12 TDI diesel that is going into the Audi Q7 TDI V12. That's also the same engine that propels the Audi R8 TDI concept and LeMans efforts.

The new 6.0L V-12 that will be used in the production Audi Q7 V-12 TDI later this year, is that same power plant, mostly. The new truck is a tube frame design currently by built by Arciero-Miller specifically for the SCORE Trophy Truck class. Volkswagen is creating a body patterned after the body style of the Touareg. The body will be about a foot longer than the production SUV. The V-12 power-plant is based on the 60 degree V-angle block that has been shown in Audi Q7 and R8 concepts in 2007 and 2008. The engine used in the Audi R10 TDI Le Mans prototype uses a 90 angle between the banks of the block.
Aside from the block configuration, the two engines share much of the same technology including high pressure common rail injection and piezo electric injectors. The latest Score Rule Book defines a Trophy Truck as follows: Open Production, Unlimited. "Unlimited 4 wheel vehicles. Vehicle must have a production looking Utility or Sports Utility body. Engine must be of same manufacture as that of the body."-Vehicle must weigh 3500 lbs. minimum. Must maintain a production appearing body, stock appearing grill, and headlight opening must be retained. Body subject to Score approval. This animal will boast 500 hp and 738 ft lbs of torque, plus.
Sounds like this Off-Road/VW/Audi program is going to include some new technology. Maybe with this heavier powertrain package they will be the first TT to design it as part of the chassis rather than a component bolted to it?
The important caveat "a foot longer than the production SUV" makes it legal. Was the "SUV" part in the old rules? VW IS the official vehicle of the Score International series.
This is the same motor that the sports car teams, the guys that run the LeMans 24 Hour and similar races are using in their cars, if so, they are going to be tough to beat. VW/Audi have invested millions of dollars in that program over the years and dominate sports car racing. The inside word has it that a lot of the same guys are working on the desert-Off-Road program. The Touareg Trophy Truck will debut sometime this fall. Drivers Ryan Arciero and Mark Miller will compete in the Baja 1000 with the Touareg V-12 TDI in November 2008. Arciero and Miller have previously won the diesel class at the Baja 500 with a 2.5L five cylinder Touareg TDI and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb with a 5.0L V-10 powered version.
From the company website: "Arciero-Miller Racing Facility is comprised of 13,500 square feet and serves as the main headquarters for the team at Foothills Ranch, Southern California. The Arciero-Miller racing goal: "Continue their domination of the Baja 500 and the Baja 1000. Ryan and Mark want to continue to be the most unbeatable team in the Trophy Truck class this century." "Arciero-Miller Racing is a partnership between SCORE Trophy-Truck drivers Ryan Arciero and Mark Miller. Arciero-Miller Racing drivers won the SCORE Baja 500 in 2000, ’02, ’03 and ’04 as well as the Baja 1000 in 2003, ’04 and ‘05. The team continues to grow at a record pace, as sponsorships for Arciero Miller Racing reach an all time high."
"Mark Miller has rsien from a four stroke national enduro racer to Dakar marathon rally racing. Mark made a fulltime decision as a works driver for Volkswagon based in Hanover, Germany. In April of 2008 he competed in the 2008 Central Europe Rally, the first in the new series of events created by the promoters of the Dakar Rally. Miller was competing for the VW factory team in a diesel Touareg (#206) but crashed out of the competition on the first day.
Sources: Volkswagen Motorsport Information: Central Europe Rally 2008 press book published by Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH Communications 2008.

Sporting Career Highlights
1979 - First participation in SCORE desert series on motorbike
1996 - 5th place SCORE International class 1 (Buggy)
1997 - 1st place NASCAR Ultra Wheels truck series
1998 - 6th place Moroccan Rally on motorbike (KTM)
1999 - Silver medal in Portugal, 250cc 4-stroke class (KTM)
1999 - 1st place AMA 4-stroke Enduro championship
2000 - 1st place Trophy Truck class Nevada 2000 (GM)
2000 - 3rd place Trophy Truck class Baja 2000 (GM)
2000 - 2nd place Pikes Peak Hill Climb Sedan class (Cadillac)
2002 - 19th place Dakar Rally, 1st place Toyota Trophy (Toyota)
2002 - 1st place Trophy Truck class Baja 500 (Chevrolet)
2003 - 1st place Trophy Truck Baja 1000/ Baja 500 Parker 425
2004 - Dakar Rally Protruck (Chevrolet), 1st Trophy Truck Baja 1000
2005 - 6th place Baja Portalegre (VW Race Touareg)
2006 - 5th place Dakar Rally (VW Race Touareg 2)
2007 - 4th place Dakar Rally
2007 –Baja 500 First VW Race-Class Win, Baja 1000 DNF.
Placed Moroccan Rally (VW Race Touareg 2)
2008 – Crashed out of Dakar Replacement Race,
Central Europe Rally. DNF.
No shows at Baja 250 and Baja 500.

More Reading and Pictures:


Baja Racing News.com EXCLUSIVE