Eighth stage win and continued one-two lead for Volkswagen Wolfsburg. Successful completion of high-speed sections, stage victory, and extension of the overall lead: Volkswagen factory driver Giniel de Villiers (RSA) and his co-driver Dirk von...
Eighth stage win and continued one-two lead for Volkswagen
Wolfsburg. Successful completion of high-speed sections, stage victory, and extension of the overall lead: Volkswagen factory driver Giniel de Villiers (RSA) and his co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) clinched their sixth stage victory at the Rally dos Sertoes, which marked the eighth of eight possible wins for the Race Touareg. On the special stage between Floriano and Crateus, which again had extremely tough conditions and varied routes in store for the drivers as the second part of a marathon leg without service, Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/RSA) occupied third place. Volkswagen's diesel-powered prototypes thus continue to be the measure of all things at this cross-country rally through Brazil.
The technical challenge faced by Volkswagen at the Rally dos Sertoes remains high: The eighth leg to Crateus featured very fast passages across boulders as well as steep uphill and difficult downhill runs through undulating terrain, which again made extremely high demands on the two 280-hp Race Touareg 2 vehicles. Another aspect of this leg was that many turn-offs demanded maximum concentration of the co-drivers.
On Thursday, the rally route will lead over another 520 kilometres to Mossoro, again confronting the teams with slippery mud and gravel. Victory on the penultimate of the total of ten legs will be decided by the navigation. The rally will end on Friday, 27 June, after ten legs and a total of 4,500 kilometres in the northeastern town of Natal on the Atlantic coast.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"Brazil is new rally territory for Volkswagen. We saw what that means today, on another very difficult and demanding leg. Our squad had to pull all the stops against the strongest local heroes to keep running in front in these conditions. As usual, our whole team functions with clockwork precision: mechanics, engineers and drivers continue working at an extremely high level of concentration. The Race Touareg, as well, is making a first-class impression on this highly special, varied stages."
#302 - Giniel de Villiers (RSA), 1st place (leg) / 1st place overall
"The profile of today's leg was completely different from yesterday's. After we had to struggle with extreme water passages and deep mud in the first part of this marathon leg, flat-out sections across large and sharp rocks were on today's agenda. On Wednesday, the navigation in particular made the difference. That's why I'd like pay a big compliment to my co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz: he did a flawless job yet again."
#303 - Mark Miller (USA), 3rd place (leg) / 2nd place overall
"If I could have made a wish for a type of special stage, this type of terrain, which is definitely comparable to an American Baja, would have been at the top of my list. These quick sections across boulders suit my driving style. It requires constant precision to keep from risking a puncture. As far as our speed was concerned, we could have won this leg. But, unfortunately, we lost some time due to a navigation mistake and had to finish the leg running behind Giniel de Villiers. Other than that, it was another nice day. I'm really fascinated by the legs of the rally we've driven so far and by the impressions of the country."