Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Volkswagen Retain Third and Fifth Positions

Text from Volkswagen Motorsport.
WOLFSBURG, Germany - Volkswagen defended third with Giniel de Villiers and fifth with Jutta Kleinschmidt at the Dakar Rally after the longest leg totalling 874 kilometres.

While Giniel de Villiers and Jutta Kleinschmidt were able to retain their positions despite niggling problems, Mark Miller and Bruno Saby both improved by a single place to seventh and tenth overall respectively. Carlos Sainz, fastest of the day by 30 seconds at the third check point, ground to a halt 24 kilometres before the end of the stage and eventually crossed the finish two hours behind the winner.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"On this sad day, our thoughts are with the fatally injured motorcyclist Andy Caldecott and his family to whom we extend our deepest sympathy. The sporting events are of no consequence under such circumstances. While Carlos had the chance to win the stage with the finish in sight, Jutta and Giniel unfortunately lost ground to Mitsubishi. We'll have to wait until Carlos is in the bivouac before we know the exact reasons for his delay.”

#301 – Bruno Saby (F), 6th place (leg) / 10th position overall
"That was a very difficult day full of soft sand and tricky navigation. The day went well for us, but we stopped to help Jutta. Nevertheless, we still managed to improve one place in the overall standings.”

#303 – Jutta Kleinschmidt (D), 4th place (leg) / 5th position overall
"Unfortunately the water cooling fan stopped working about 100 kilometres before the finish. We needed 40 minutes for just five kilometres in the dunes and even turned the heating on to improve the cooling effect on the engine.”

#305 – Giniel de Villiers (RSA), 3rd place (leg) / 3rd position overall
"After 150 kilometres I had a tyre failure on the rear-right. Unfortunately the hydraulic jack didn't work, so I lost about 15 minutes as a result. We didn't want to change anymore tyres, so that's why we adjusted the tyre pressure to suit the terrain.”

#309 – Mark Miller (USA), 7th place (leg) / 7th position overall
"We got lost again today. We got stuck later when we swerved to avoid a motorcyclist who had crashed. So, we were seventh and have moved up a position on the overall leader board.”

From the Volkswagen bivouac

- Drivers and co-drivers fit for second half: On Sunday 8 January the Volkswagen works drivers did not go out to race against the clock but used the Dakar Rally rest day in Nouakchott to recharge their batteries for the second half of the off-road rally. However, the drivers and co-drivers were not left with much time to relax. "We were able to sleep longer in the morning, afterwards we had some appointments with the press and interviews, in the afternoon there were several internal team meetings”, explained Jutta Kleinschmidt. The co-drivers used the day to familiarise themselves intimately with the road book for the ninth and longest stage. More than 50 Volkswagen guests travelled to the Mauritanian capital to visit the team at the bivouac on the rest day.

- Major service on rest day: The Volkswagen factory team's service area was a hive of activity during the Dakar Rally rest day: All five Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 prototypes underwent a thorough inspection. The technicians changed the gearboxes, differentials, brake discs and steering racks as previously scheduled. The work, which the Volkswagen team had started as early as Saturday afternoon, took until late on Sunday evening. The technicians took 24 hours to complete the major service.

- Only one Race-Truck: Volkswagen must make do with a single Race-Truck during the second week of the rally. The Race-Truck (#539) with Josep Pujol/Lucas Cruz Senra/François Verbist (E/E/B) stopped on the eighth stage to repair the Sainz/Schulz Race Touareg 2, however the maximum permitted stage time was exceeded as was already the case on the second stage. As a result, the Truck team was not authorised to start the ninth stage. Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen: "The team worked fantastically and succeeded in keeping Carlos Sainz in the competition. Unfortunately the Race-Truck team exceeded their maximum time."

Standings after stage 9, Nouakchott (MR) – Kiffa (MR); 599/874 km stage 9/total

Pos., Team, Vehicle, Stage 9, Total time
1. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-P. Cottret (F/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 6:52:45 hrs. (1. ) 34:36.26 hrs.
2. Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (F/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 7:01:29 hrs. (2.) + 9.16 min.
3. Giniel de Villiers/Tina Thörner (RSA/S), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 7:20:45 hrs. (3.) + 54.16 min.
4. Nani Roma/Henri Magne (E/F), Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 7:45:24 hrs. (5.) + 1:36:14 hrs.
5. Jutta Kleinschmidt/Fabrizia Pons (D/I), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 7:42:43 hrs. (4.) + 1:56:24 hrs.
6. Thierry Magnaldi/Arnaud Debron (F/F), Schlesser-Ford; 8:07:47 hrs. (8.) + 2:48:42 hrs.
7. Mark Miller/Dirk von Zitzewitz (USA/D), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 7:59:44 hrs. (7.) + 3:19:12 hrs.
8. Jean-L. Schlesser/François Borsotto (F/F), Schlesser-Ford; 9:03:07 hrs. (13.) + 3:55:43 hrs.
9. Carlos Sousa/Jean-Marie Lurquin (P/B), Nissan Pick-up; 8:51:04 hrs. (10.) + 5:08:31 hrs.
10. Bruno Saby/Michel Périn (F/F), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 7:51:03 hrs. (6.) + 8:14:35 hrs.
13. Carlos Sainz/Andreas Schulz (E/D), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 9:01:49 hrs. (11.) + 10:18;47 hrs.


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