Volkswagen on positions one and two in Brazil
Wolfsburg. A one-two lead, also thanks to TDI technology: Volkswagen continues setting the pace at the Rally dos Sertões with the two "factory" duos Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (RSA/D) and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/RSA). On the very selective second leg of the cross-country rally through Brazil -- in addition to the driving skills -- the innovative diesel technology of the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 helped to further extend the advantage over the experienced local rivals. On the stage between Rio Verde and Aruanã, which covered a total distance of 481 kilometres across steep, stony passages and narrow sections, the Volkswagen drivers benefited from the high torque of the 280-hp diesel-powered prototype. Giniel de Villiers today again clinched first place overall, his team-mate Mark Miller followed him to the finish in second place.
On Friday, on the third of ten legs, the rally route will lead from Aruanã to Niquelandia in Central Brazil, confronting drivers and vehicles with flat and quick stages across stony and smooth terrain.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"Drivers and co-drivers have again delivered first-class performances. On these technically demanding and very tough tracks man and material have so far acted in perfect harmony. At the Rally dos Sertões, which is new territory for us, it is crucial to continuously drive in a controlled but offensive manner. I'm hoping that Giniel de Villiers and Mark Miller will manage this on the next few days of the rally because the most difficult legs are still ahead."
#302 - Giniel de Villiers (RSA), 1st place (leg) / 1st place overall
"Today was a demanding day because the rally took us across trial-like sections and many jumps. Particularly on the steep passages the excellent drivability of the TDI engine helped a lot. Thanks to its high torque I was often able to use the same gear, which saved me a lot of shifting work and, ultimately, gave us a time advantage. My co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz did an excellent job as well - the navigation on Thursday was anything but easy."
#303 - Mark Miller (USA), 2nd place (leg) / 2nd place overall
"Demanding, technically difficult to drive - the second leg was the first real acid test of this rally. It was tremendous fun driving these stages. Unfortunately, I had a similar problem like yesterday: I quickly caught the rival running in front of me. In his dust there was no chance to overtake. That cost us time, but not too much. But after today's result, which - all in all - was good, I'll only have my team-mate in front of me tomorrow, whose pace is similar to ours."