As he set off in the early hours of 21 September from the North Cape (Norway) to the southern tip of South Africa, the primary goal of this latest project for long-distance record holder Rainer Zietlow from Mannheim was to test out the robustness of his Volkswagen Touareg. The journey was interrupted by an accident caused by another driver, however following a workshop stop in Tanzania, he and his team nevertheless reached Cape Agulhas in record time.
The German adventurer, who with his Volkswagen Touareg also holds the world records on the Pan-American Highway and the eastern Melbourne-St. Petersburg axis, has thus also set the new long-distance record for this route through Europe and Africa. At 21 days, 16 hours and 36 minutes, he beat the previous record of 28 days, which was set in 1984. If you take away the time for the repair, the trip of around 17,000 km was actually covered in just 8 days, 10 hours and 26 minutes.
Zietlow and his co-drivers Marius Biela and Matthias Prillwitz were perfectly on time when on the sixth day of the journey they were involved through no fault of their own in an accident in Tanzania. “Nobody was injured, but when I saw the car, I thought we’d have to give up,” recalls Zietlow. “However, it soon became clear in the garage that the engine and gearbox had remained intact – so we still wanted to see what we could achieve.” Using Volkswagen original parts, the mechanics in Tanzania were able to repair the Touareg for the final stage from Inringa, where the accident occurred, to Cape Agulhas.
For more information and additional photos, please visit www.touareg-capetocape.com.