Volkswagen's five-car team of Race Touaregs got their drive for an overall victory off to a good start, with all five placing in the top ten. Team Dakar USA's Robby Gordon and Darren Skilton placed their Hummer in a respectable 14th place in the opening stage.
Despite Vw's strong start, Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen was cautious when asked about his team's chances, saying "The competition is very strong – especially Mitsubishi, but also BMW and Schlesser. Mitsubishi with 20 years of experience and ten victories in this event are difficult to beat. That's why I don't see us playing the role of favorite.”
[Sources: Volkswagen Motorsport, Dakar.com, Eurosport.com]