Having been one of the strongest challengers to Volkswagen during the 2009 running of the Dakar Rally, Nasser Al-Attiyah will now form part of the team's line-up for the 2010 event after VW confirmed the signing of the Qatari driver.

Al-Attiyah will join forces with Giniel de Villiers, Mark Miller and Carlos Sainz as part of the line-up as the team seeks to defend the title it took earlier this year; which was the first win for a diesel-powered car in Dakar history.

Al-Attiyah will be partnered by Timo Gottschalk for the event, with the 34-year-old having teamed up with Dieter Depping for a sixth place finish earlier this year. Depping will remain a part of the team as a development and spare driver.

"My heart beats for rally racing and I'm delighted to be able to contest the 'Dakar' 2010 with such a professional team as Volkswagen," Al-Attiyah said. "With its one-two win the squad proved that it's the team to be beaten. At Volkswagen, I now have the chance myself to show that I can win the 'Dakar'. I'll give everything to achieve this goal."

VW Motorsport director Kris Nissen said he was thrilled to have Al-Attiyah onboard, as well as co-driver Lucas Cruz Senra who will partner fellow Spaniard Sainz in the 2010 event.

"Volkswagen will contest the Dakar Rally in 2010 with a clear aim: we want to repeat our triumph," he said. "One thing is clear already: The route is likely to be even tougher and the challenge even greater. We're perfectly set for this task.

"With his Cross-Country World Cup title and stage wins at the 'Dakar' Nasser Al-Attiyah proved that he ranks among the best drivers in this sport. The part of the co-drivers is a crucial factor at the 'Dakar' as well. The signing of Lucas Cruz Senra marks the return of an experienced navigator to our team."


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