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Debut: stage win for new Volkswagen “Dakar” Touareg

Silk Way Rally 2010, Leg 02, 12 September 2010
Debut: stage win for new Volkswagen “Dakar” Touareg
A brilliant competitive debut for the new Volkswagen Race Touareg 3: right on the second leg of its “Dakar” dress rehearsal the 310-hp cross-country rally prototype decided the first special stage in its favour. Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E) completed the second leg of the Silk Way Rally through Russia in the AWD vehicle’s first competition by setting the fastest time overall.

On the split special stage between Staraya Russa und Vyazma their Volkswagen team colleagues Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D) had to admit defeat by just a narrow margin. Both pairings are now leading the overall classification of the Silk Way Rally. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) after having lost some time on yesterday’s opening leg improved to seventh overall after finishing today’s special stage in third place. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz set the fourth-best time on today’s 173-kilometre special stage. The 2009 “Dakar” winners are now ranking in third place overall.

The first part of the route of the second special stage took the entrants from Staraya Russa to Vyazma along many water passages and sodden stretches through woods. Quick gravel passages that resembled sprint rally stages and thanks to long flat-out sections featured a high average speed of more than 150 km/h were on the agenda of the second part.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
“Today we gathered valuable data with both the Race Touareg 3 and the predecessor model that will be very exciting for us to analyse. Carlos Sainz in the new vehicle featuring the 2011 ‘Dakar’ configuration won the special stage thus showing the car’s potential. Nasser Al-Attiyah is driving an intermediate stage here whereas Giniel de Villiers and Mark Miller are running in the 2010-specification ‘Dakar’ version of the Race Touareg 2. All four vehicles ran superbly – so we can be pleased with the day’s yield.”

#100 – Carlos Sainz (E), 1st place leg / 1st place overall
“The leg today went the way I’m always wishing for it to go: without the slightest problem and with a top-notch car. The first part of the split special stage was very demanding to drive while the second part featured many high-speed passages. I’m a bit proud to have given the Race Touareg 3 its first stage win – but obviously we’re not out to clinch individual stage victories but to prepare for the 2011 ‘Dakar’. We’re on a good track for that.”

#101 – Giniel de Villiers (ZA), 4th place leg / 3rd place overall
“Today I had the honour to open the stage as yesterday’s stage winner. That was very difficult particularly on the first part because the route contained a lot of water and mud and we lost some time there. We let our team colleague Nasser Al-Attiyah pass and therefore had to let ourselves drop back in the dust of the second part of the leg. Nevertheless, I’m pleased with the result.”

#102 – Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), 2nd place leg / 2nd place overall
“I liked this leg a lot because it fit my driving style. I felt very comfortable and found a good rhythm. But we also saw the speed of the new Race Touareg 3 today in which Carlos won the stage. That’s good news too – especially with respect to the 2011 ‘Dakar.’’’

#104 – Mark Miller (USA), 3rd place leg / 7th place overall
“This was a special stage with two extremely different characteristics. We haven’t had as much mud and water as we did on the first part in a long time and were struggling with visibility some of the time. The second part was completely different and demanded high top speed. We pushed the limits. Subjectively, we just lifted a maximum of five, six times. The rest was flat-out.”
Number of the day
The Silk Way Rally, which is organised by the “Dakar” organiser A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organisation), has a large media reach. About 45 TV channels in 178 countries air reports of the cross-country rally through Russia.
Results
Standings after leg 02, Staraya Russa (RUS)–Vyazma (RUS); 173/751 km SS 02/Total
Pos., Team, Vehicle, Leg 02, Total time
1 Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E), Volkswagen Race Touareg 3, 1h 22m 03s (1), 2h 19m 30s
2 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2, 1h 23m 33s (2), + 1m 07s
3 Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2, 1h 26m 58s (4) , + 2m 26s
4 Boris Gadasin/Vladimir Demjanenko (RUS/RUS), Proto G Force, 1h 27m 22s (5), + 5m 17s
5 Bogdan Novitsky/Vitaly Evtekhov (UKR/UKR), Nissan Pick-up, 1h 33m 55s (7), + 20m 52s
6 Ilya Kuznetsov/Andrey Neshin (RUS/RUS), Mitsubishi L201, 1h 37m 41s (8), + 24m 10s
7 Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA), Volkswagen Race Touareg 2, 1h 25m 59s (3), + 26m 30s
8 Matthias Kahle/Thomas Schünemann (D/D), SMG Buggy, 1h 31m 37s (6), + 27m 57s
9 Alexander Mironenko/Sergey Lebedev (RUS/RUS), Nissan Frontier, 1h 38m 16s (9), + 30m 48s
10 Aldis Vilcans/Vladimir Makarenko (LV/UKR), Mitsubishi Pajero, 1h 42m 05s (11), + 37m 37s

Coming up …
Monday, 13 September: leg 03, Vyazma (RUS)–Lipetsk (RUS) in brief: ruts, narrow passes, water passages, clearings – demanding navigation
The Silk Way Rally on TV
Sunday, 12 September 2010
20.45–21.00, Eurosport Silk Way Rally, summary, leg 2

Monday, 13 September 2010
08.30–08.45, Eurosport Silk Way Rally, summary, leg 2 (rerun)

Additional reports on the news and sports programmes of TV channels n-tv, ARD and ZDF.

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