Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Carlos Sainz Presents Volkswagen with Fourth Stage Victory

Text from Volkswagen Motorsport.
WOLFSBURG, Germany - Works driver Carlos Sainz presented Volkswagen with its fourth victory on the Dakar Rally’s tenth stage.

On the 333 kilometre timed section from Kiffa to Kayes the Spaniard beat his countryman Nani Roma (Mitsubishi) by more than four minutes. After scoring its fourth stage victory Volkswagen has now eased ahead of Mitsubishi and Schlesser again who both have three each. Giniel de Villiers retained his position as best Volkswagen driver in third place overall after 6,155 kilometres, and now lies only 23 minutes 13 seconds behind second placed Luc Alphand, who lost 35 minutes due to a collision. Jutta Kleinschmidt is still fifth and Mark Miller sixth.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"A good day for Volkswagen, Carlos collected the fourth stage victory and, in the process, once again demonstrated the potential of the Race Touareg 2. Giniel de Villiers maintained third place. Things are still relatively close behind him. The engine was rebuilt on Carlos Sainz's Race Touareg after the ninth stage. The engine had overheated due to a problem with the cooling fan, which also cost Carlos a possible stage victory.”

#301 – Bruno Saby (F), 11th place (leg) / 10th position overall
"We destroyed a front-left wheel. Unfortunately I couldn't get it off immediately and actually had to use stones in the end to loosen it. We lost a lot of time as a result on a stage that was difficult enough as it was.”

#303 – Jutta Kleinschmidt (D), 5th place (leg) / 5th position overall
"The navigation was very difficult today; we searched about five times for the right way because the road book was so inaccurate today. I hit something lightly with the rear-end and lost a piece of the bodywork as a result – there was no mechanical damage though.”

#305 – Giniel de Villiers (RSA), 8th place (leg) / 3rd position overall
"Unfortunately we lost quite some time after we drove into ditch, which was very irritating but luckily nothing else happened. The tracks are much narrower now, and driving requires all your concentration over the entire distance.”

#307 – Carlos Sainz (E), 1st place (leg) / 13th position overall
"A huge thank you to the mechanics who rebuilt the engine overnight yesterday after it overheated on the previous day. Winning today is my gift for the excellent work as the Race Touareg ran perfectly again.”

#309 – Mark Miller (USA), 4th place (leg) / 6th position overall
"The tracks were really narrow. In one place I tore off the wing mirror on the co-driver's side. We stopped briefly to check on Giniel. The road book was very ambiguous today, but we didn't get lost."


Three questions to Giniel de Villiers

What are you expecting from the final third of the Dakar Rally?

"The route will get a lot harder, since there are a huge amount of pitfalls lurking on the partially obscured tracks – stones, tree stumps, branches and much more. We must make sure that we are wide awake. There are still another 2,888 kilometres to go – which is more than the length of a single round of the Cross Country World Cup.”

You are third – in hindsight would you have driven the first ten stages any differently?
"We really don't have anything to be ashamed of, particularly as we found a good rhythm and completed the majority of the stages, including the really tough stages without any real problems. Only tiny details such as yesterday's damaged jack or the small electrical problem today have cost us time, but none of this has anything to do with the incredible potential of the Race Touareg.”

What are your goals for the remaining five stages?
"I've never been on the podium at the Dakar Rally. We'll take each stage as it comes and will do our best. The upcoming stages should suit Volkswagen. We want to run at a pace at which we can show what we are capable of without taking any risks, but our main priority is obviously to take the chequered flag at Lac Rose on Sunday.”

Standings after stage 10, Kiffa (MR) – Kayes (ML); 283/333 km stage 10/total

Pos., Team, Vehicle, Stage 10, Total time
1. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-P. Cottret (F/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 3:33:32 hrs. (3.) 38:09.58 hrs.
2. Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (F/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 4:04:20 hrs. (15.) + 40:04 min.
3. Giniel de Villiers/Tina Thörner (RSA/S), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 3:42:33 hrs. (8.) + 1:03:17 hrs.
4. Nani Roma/Henri Magne (E/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 3:32:42 hrs. (2.) + 1:35:24 hrs.
5. Jutta Kleinschmidt/Fabrizia Pons (D/I), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 3:36:40 hrs. (5.) + 1:59:32 hrs.
6. Mark Miller/Dirk von Zitzewitz (USA/D), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 3:35:22 hrs. (4.) + 3:21:02 hrs.

7. Jean-L. Schlesser/François Borsotto (F/F), Schlesser-Ford; 3:38:15 hrs. (6.) + 4:00:26 hrs.
8. Carlos Sousa/Jean-Marie Lurquin (P/B), Nissan Pick-up; 3:39:57 hrs. (7.) + 5:14:56 hrs.
9. Thierry Magnaldi/Arnaud Debron (F/F), Schlesser-Ford; 8:10.10 hrs. (79.) + 7:25.20 hrs.
10. Bruno Saby/Michel Périn (F/F), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 3:54:27 hrs. (11.) + 8:35:30 hrs.
13. Carlos Sainz/Andreas Schulz (E/D), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 3:28:34 hrs. (1.) + 10:13:49 hrs.

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