This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the ‘Le Jog’ rally, the challenging British winter rally which covers a distance of nearly 1500 miles. For the first time, a car from Volkswagen Classic is among the 66 racing vehicles: a courageous team of two women, Steffi Edelhoff and Sandra Wukovich, will tackle the three-day rough-and-tumble endurance rally in a Volkswagen Iltis.
The ‘Le Jog’ winter rally has been staged in the United Kingdom since 1993: ‘the toughest in Europe’ as the organiser claims. The challenge is to drive from Land’s End to John O’Groats within three days. The demanding route runs straight over very bumpy byroads and through streams, which means – given the extremely short passage times as well as a thoroughly strenuous nocturnal stage – that the drivers and their vehicles will be tested fully by the automotive ordeal. The whole route is garnished with more than 50 special regularity tests full of navigational dodges.
Sixty-six teams will be competing in the rally from 7-10th December. In 2013 for the first time, a ladies team with a vehicle from the collection of Volkswagen Classic is competing in the endurance event – a “Paris-Dakar” Volkswagen Iltis, just like the one that Freddy Graf Kottulinsky/ Gerhard Löffelmann drove to victory in that legendary desert rally in 1980.
Steffi Edelhoff and Sandra Wukovich, who have already toured the world in a Volkswagen Amarok, are racing in the ‘Le Jog’ for a good cause: jointly with the “be your own hero e.V.”, a registered non-profit organisation that campaigns for the autonomy and self-reliance of girls and young women.
The four-wheel-drive Type 183 Iltis is exactly the right vehicle for such a tough rally – just under 10,000 of them were produced by VAG. The technology of the spartan vehicle formed the basis for Audi’s original Quattro drivetrain. Unlike the production version, the race car features a reinforced chassis, underbody protection, a front safety guard, auxiliary lamps, roll-over protection bar, only two sports bucket seats as well as a big 90-litre fuel tank. The power of the offroader is about 89bhp.