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Despite the best efforts of racing organizations the world over to clean up their image, it's pretty tough to consider any kind of motorsport squeaky clean. Apparently, that's especially true of the recent Dakar rally in South America. Besides the expected burning of fossil fuels and the emissions associated with it, the National Monuments Council (NMC) of Chile reports that the off-road race caused roughly $570,000 (300 million pesos) of damage to 56 of the country's 111 heritage sites.

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Despite the best efforts of racing organizations the world over to clean up their image, it's pretty tough to consider any kind of motorsport squeaky clean. Apparently, that's especially true of the recent Dakar rally in South America. Besides the expected burning of fossil fuels and the emissions associated with it, the National Monuments Council (NMC) of Chile reports that the off-road race caused roughly $570,000 (300 million pesos) of damage to 56 of the country's 111 heritage sites.

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Casualties are nothing new in the history of the Dakar Rally, and unfortunately the 2010 event has already claimed a life. During the opening stage of the 32nd running of the 9,000-kilometer race this weekend, 28 year-old Natalia Sonia Gallardo was struck and killed by a truck being driven by Mirco Schultis. As a result of large crowds along the route, Gallardo was reportedly standing in an unauthorized area where spectators were not supposed to be and police did nothing to stop people from gath

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Two of the five of Volkswagen Race Touareg TDIs that ran in this year's Dakar Rally took top overall positions in the two marathon. The truck driven Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz led to the finish capturing the first ever overall win for a diesel powered vehicle in this race. The Race Touaregs were powered by 2.5L five cylinder diesel engine that is basically half of the V10 TDI formerly used in the production Touareg. In race trim this engine produces 280 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque.

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What had been set to be the longest edition yet of the Dakar Rally now won't happen at all. A day before the race was due to kick off in Lisbon on Saturday, organizers decided to cancel the entire event. A series of terrorist attacks, including the Dec. 24 killing of a French family in Mauritania and another where several soldiers were killed along with direct threats against the race, triggered the first cancellation in the race's thirty year history. Both Mitsubishi and Volkswagen were expect

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January 2008 will mark the thirtieth running of the Dakar Rally in which competitors spend sixteen days racing thousands of miles across the Sahara. The course has been lengthened 3564 miles this time and Volkswagen is set to take another shot at beating the Mitsubishi Pajeros. The Mitsubishis have won nine of the last eleven races including all of the last seven. VW will be continuing their commitment to diesel engines in racing with the factory team entering four Race Touareg 2 TDIs. While the

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