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Volkswagen won’t be competing in the 2012 Dakar Rally, but the company will still provide support vehicles to event organizers.
For the third year in a row, the company will provide 40 vehicles including 30 Amarok pickup trucks. Despite not competing, those trucks have to be tough enough to handle anything the course can throw at them— everything from canyon crawling to desert dune running.
Those attending the event can look forward to meeting some notable guests, like F1 legend Jacky Ickx who, won the Dakar in 1983 for Mercedes-Benz, will be giving off-road racing lessons.
The race starts at Mar del Palta, Argentina and runs just short of 5,600 miles through Chile to finish in Lima, Peru.
At any given ALMS race, you’re guaranteed to see a field of Porsches on the track at any given minute. These are mostly 997 variants, but now there’s the possibility of catching a glimpse of Porsche’s Panamera and Cayenne at any ALMS race. Ideally, we hope not to see these on the track, given that they’re support vehicles, but it’s nice to see Porsche’s lineup being properly represented at one of the world’s most prestigious race series.
The Panamera Turbo is the official safety car for ALMS; essentially a stock model that has a dome light and paint scheme on it, similar to the well-known Mercedes AMG safety cars. The larger Cayenne SUV will be pulling duties as the medic’s emergency response vehicle, and we really hope that the Cayenne makes a limited number of appearances for that reason alone.
GALLERY: Porsche Panamera and Cayenne ALMS Support Vehicles