Thanks to TDI power: Volkswagen takes 1-2-3-stage win in Brazil
Wolfsburg (28 June 2009). Volkswagen celebrated another stage victory at the Rallye dos Sertoes: On the fifth leg of the cross-country rally through Brazil Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D) set the fastest time ahead of their team colleagues Mauricio Neves/Eduardo Bampi (BR/BR) and Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz Senra (E/E). The diesel technology of the 280-hp Race Touareg provided a crucial advantage: The 539-kilometre stage from Palmas to Luis Eduardo Magalhães was marked by quick gravel stretches with long flat-out passages as well as by trial-like segments where the high torque of the 2.5-litre TDI engines was advantageous. Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk were 3m 21s faster than Neves/Bampi, Sainz/Cruz Senra lost almost eleven minutes due to two unscheduled stops: A hose clip on the intercooler was broken and later the Spanish duo had to change a wheel due to a slow puncture.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"Today the three duos in the Race Touareg vehicles demonstrated why Volkswagen won the 'Dakar'. On this fast leg top speed was equally important as torque since the stage also led through technically demanding sections. All three teams delivered a first-class performance - but special praise goes to our Brazilian crew: Mauricio Neves and Eduardo Bampi have perfectly integrated themselves into our team and thrill the local fans with their strong performances."
#301 - Carlos Sainz (E), 3rd place leg / 2nd place overall
"After two kilometres a hose clip in the intercooler duct broke. A small cause with a big effect because we suddenly had no more power. Changing the clip cost us several minutes. In addition, we had to change a wheel. Apart from that, things improved towards the end."
#302 - Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), 1st place leg / 1st place overall
"This was a really, really fast leg that I liked very much because it reminded me of special stages in the World Rally Championship. It was very fluid and nice to drive. My co-driver Timo Gottschalk and I have meanwhile found a good rhythm - and I'm now really familiar with the Race Touareg and its character too."
#309 - Mauricio Neves (BR), 2nd place leg / 9th place overall
"This leg was really fast and required lots of power. The TDI engine impressed me in this respect yet again - particularly because the beginning of the route had boulders and twisty passages which demands completely different characteristics of the engine. The Race Touareg has simply got power in any situation."
Number of the day On the fifth leg of the Rallye dos Sertoes, the quickest of the ten rally days, the sensors of the Volkswagen engineers logged a full-throttle section of 11.2 kilometres for Mauricio Neves/Eduardo Bampi - in total, Neves was driving flat out 46.1 per cent of the time.