To say Volkswagen has dominated the Dakar Rally would be an understatement. VW has taken the top prize for the last three years, including a podium sweep at last year's race.
According to a report by Autosports.com, Volkswagen is focusing its efforts on the upcoming 2013 World Rally Championship. Nasser Al-Attiyah piloted a Volkswagen Race Touareg at this year's Dakar Rally and won first place. He confirms that his return to next year's Dakar is unlikely due to the WRC.
"It doesn't look so possible now," he said. "I won't go there without my engineer and the same team. This is not sensible and I don't think we will be able to do it," Al-Attiyah said."It's a great shame, I really wanted to defend my title."
Volkswagen's planned withdrawal should be welcome news to other teams who have come close to winning the 5965-mile course. Mini and X-Raid will be present at next year's race with four Dakar cars based on the Mini Countryman.
"To win Dakar you need minimum 30 per cent luck and we haven't had that yet," said X-Raid team boss Sven Quandt. "If we get it next year, we can win."