Rally dos Sertoes: Volkswagen leg three summary

Volkswagen drivers successfully tackle demanding terrain Wolfsburg. On the third leg of the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil Volkswagen further extended its one-two lead. The South African Giniel de Villiers and his German co-driver Dirk von...

Volkswagen drivers successfully tackle demanding terrain

Wolfsburg. On the third leg of the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil Volkswagen further extended its one-two lead. The South African Giniel de Villiers and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz in the Race Touareg clinched victory on the rally's third leg as well. The American Mark Miller and his South African co-driver Ralph Pitchford in the second Race Touareg finished the 415-kilometre stage from Aruanã to Niquelandia in the north of the country in second place. Since the spectators stage on Tuesday, de Villiers/von Zitzewitz have had the overall lead, twelve minutes ahead of their team-mates Miller/Pitchford. The third-placed Mitsubishi driver Reinaldo Varela is already running behind them with a 45-minute gap.

The third leg featured picturesque passages through remote regions of the state of Goias. For the first time in the history of the Rally dos Sertoes, the contenders crossed this part of Brazil. In addition to flat and fast sections, the route also went through hilly areas. With the numerous jumps on the stony, rough terrain, a perfect suspension setup was the key to success. The Dakar-seasoned factory team of the automobile manufacturer from Wolfsburg opted for a softer damper setting compared to the previous day and came up with an ideal compromise between ride, traction and precise handling.

On Saturday, the Volkswagen drivers have to tackle another 482 kilometres from Niquelandia to Paranã. For the first time at the Sertoes Rally, a cross-country leg without night-time team service is on the agenda then. The rally, which will end on 27 June in Natal in the north-east of Brazil on the Atlantic coast, has ten legs covering a total of 4,500 kilometres, making it the longest rally contested by Volkswagen so far besides the Dakar Rally.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)

"So far, our impressions at this rally have been positive in every respect. For one, as far as the sporting aspects are concerned, because the team works together perfectly, the cars are optimally prepared for the legs, and the drivers are doing a flawless job. Thanks to the experiences gained in past rallies the interaction between the team members is very good, everyone's working hand in hand. For the other, the rally runs through charming, partially untouched landscapes - that's a nice combination."

#302 - Giniel de Villiers (RSA), 1st place (leg) / 1st place overall

"This has by far been the nicest leg of the rally. I hope the organisers have prepared a few more of these special stages for us. Today's leg was fluid and therefore pleasant to drive. A setup change we made resulted in higher traction and better ride compared to yesterday - this was a good choice for today's leg."

#303 - Mark Miller (USA), 2nd place (leg) / 2nd place overall

"We opted for a softer suspension setup for the Race Touareg for today to improve ride, which was a real relief for us drivers due to the sometimes painful and hard jumps. Despite these changes we didn't sacrifice too much handling precision. This helps us to avoid making mistakes in the narrow passages, which could quickly cost us the whole race."

-credit: volkswagen-motorsport.com

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About this article
Series Cross-Country Rally
Drivers Mark Miller , Giniel de Villiers , Ralph Pitchford , Kris Nissen
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport