Monday, January 02, 2006

Volkswagen Leads with Carlos Sainz After Second Stage Win

Text from Volkswagen Motorsport.
WOLFSBURG, Germany - After the second Dakar Rally leg, Volkswagen still tops the leader board with Carlos Sainz and travels as leading team to Africa as a result.

Having won yesterday, the Spaniard repeated his success in the Race Touareg 2 on the second 115 kilometre special stage between Portimao and Malaga (total 567 km). With Sainz leading the field, Bruno Saby in fourth and Jutta Kleinschmidt in seventh place, three Volkswagen works drivers are in the top ten of the 174 competing teams in the car category.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"The team and our drivers have worked absolutely perfectly since the first minutes of the rally. We are delighted with the second stage victory today, but we are also well aware of the importance of it: The rally has only just started, there are still another 8,100 kilometres to go. Mitsubishi are already having a cut-and-thrust battle with Volkswagen in a rally which should be close all the way to the finish.”

#301 – Bruno Saby (F), 7th place (leg) / 4th position overall
"The rally has been very well organised so far and today's stage was fantastic. It's great fun to have started so well in the event. On Monday the serious side of ‘Dakar' life begins on the rough Moroccan stages.”

#303 – Jutta Kleinschmidt (D), 10th place (leg) / 7th position overall
"A really excellent special stage! It was very challenging, as several corners were very difficult to see. We didn't take any risks when things were unclear. We are in a good starting position for Africa.”

#305 – Giniel de Villiers (RSA), 14th place (leg) / 12th position overall
"Unfortunately we lost some time today, as we had to change the rear right wheel after suffering a puncture. We needed about three minutes to do this. It's nothing to worry about though – the rally has only just started.”

#307 – Carlos Sainz (E), 1st place (leg) / 1st position overall

"That was a perfect start: To win both European stages is obviously a great way to start my first Dakar Rally. The Race Touareg 2 ran perfectly and the spectator barriers lining the route for the many fans were very good.”

#309 – Mark Miller (USA), 9th place (leg) / 11th position overall
"Because I come from America I'm still not totally familiar with these short traditional rally stages. Nevertheless, the day was once again great fun. At the same time however, I'm now really looking forward to Africa.”

From the Volkswagen bivouac

- New Year's greetings from the Volkswagen works team in eight languages: Carlos Sainz (Spain): "Feliz Año Nuevo”; Tina Thörner (Sweden): "Gott Nytt År”; Giniel de Villiers (South Africa): "Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar!”; Mark Miller (USA): "Happy New Year”; Fabrizia Pons (Italy): "Felice anno nuovo”; Jutta Kleinschmidt (Germany): "Frohes Neues Jahr”; Bruno Saby (France): "Bonne Année 2006” and Kris Nissen (Denmark): "Godt nytår.”

- Record number of starters: At the Dakar Rally's first start in Portugal a record number of starters set of their travels: 475 competition vehicles (232 motorbikes, 174 cars and 69 trucks) with 775 competitors rolled off the start ramp. A total of 108 assistance vehicles and 129 Service-Trucks also set of for Dakar.

- New Year's Eve in Portima The Volkswagen works team welcomed in the New Year together over an evening meal at the team hotel in Portimao. One of the evening's highlights: The television coverage from the first stage, in which Volkswagen works driver Carlos Sainz claimed victory, was shown during the festive celebrations. For the Volkswagen works team it was time to say goodbye: The rally armada travels by ferry to Africa on New Year's Day, family, guests and partners who attended, along with extra technicians, the European stages now travel home.

Standings after stage 2, Portimao (P) – Malaga (E); 115/567 km special stage 2/total

Pos., Team, Vehicle, Stage 2, Total time
1. Carlos Sainz/Andreas Schulz (E/D), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 1:34.28 hrs. (1.) 2:30.48 hrs.
2. Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (F/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 1:34.53 hrs. (2.) + 3.45 min.
3. Nani Roma/Henri Magne (E/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 1:35.30 hrs. (5.) + 4.14 min.
4. Bruno Saby/Michel Périn (F/F), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 1:36.59 hrs. (7.) + 4.22 min.
5. Carlos Sousa/Jean-Marie Lurquin (P/B), Nissan Pick-up; 1:37.30 hrs. (8.) + 4.32 min.
6. Hiroshi Masuoka/Pascal Maimon (J/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 1:35.29 hrs. (4.) + 5.35 min.
7. Jutta Kleinschmidt/Fabrizia Pons (D/I), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 1:37.53 hrs. (10.) + 5.49 min.
8. Nasser Al Attiyah/Alain Guehennec (QT/F), BMW X3; 1:34.56 hrs. (3.) + 6.42 min.
9. Guerlain Chicherit/Matthieu Baumel (F/F), BMW X3; 1:38.13 hrs. (7.) + 6.47 min.
10. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-P. Cottret (F/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 1:36.53 hrs. (6.) + 6.47 min.
11. Mark Miller/Dirk von Zitzewitz (USA/D), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 1:37.40 hrs. (9.) + 6.52 min.
12. Giniel de Villiers/Tina Thörner (RSA/S), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 1:38.53 hrs. (14.) + 7.53 min.


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