Sainz ahead of Al-Attiyah: change of lead in Volkswagen double

Wolfsburg (29 June 2009). 4:2 in the team-internal duel for stage wins; the "blue" lead has changed again: The Volkswagen duo Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz Senra (E/E) took the overall lead again on the sixth leg of the Rallye dos Sertoes, narrowly relegating their team-mates Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D) in another factory-fielded Race Touareg to position two. After his second stage victory at the cross-country rally through Brazil Sainz is now 5m 08s ahead of Al-Attiyah who finished the stage from Luis Edoardo Magalhães to Barra as the runner-up after a repair stop. After finishing the stage in fourth place the third Volkswagen pairing Mauricio Neves/Eduardo Bampi (BR/BR) is ranking ninth overall. The sixth and seventh day of the rally form a combined marathon leg on which no evening service by the mechanics is permitted.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"The sixth leg showed that in sport nothing is predictable - particularly not in cross-country rally racing. The smallest oversight may cost minutes, and perhaps even the whole rally. Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mauricio Neves lost a lot of time today because of these imponderables. Like the 'Dakar', the 'Sertoes' is an unrelenting rally which needs to be mastered before anything else. But we're continuing to head in the right direction to successfully achieve this."

#301 - Carlos Sainz (E), 1st place leg / 1st place overall
"A really tough and very difficult leg containing very narrow trails on the one hand and quick sections on the other, which made maximum demands on us drivers as well as the material. Tomorrow the second part of the marathon leg will follow without service tonight at the bivouac. That's why we proceeded with caution today."

#302 - Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), 2nd place leg / 2nd place overall
"That was simply a case of misfortune. Apparently we hit a tree stump that was hidden in the grass stump in such an unfortunate way that we had to change the right rear tie rod. The repair cost us at least 15 minutes as well as the lead. Today you could see that the rally is tough and long. That is also true for the next four days."

#309 - Mauricio Neves (BR), 4th place leg / 9th place overall
"Today we lost some time again. We came to a place where the soil was heavily washed out, which hadn't been marked in the roadbook. We braked but got stuck with the front end and had to be pulled out by a rival. That cost us quite a bit of time."

Numbers of the day The roadbooks of the first half of the rally comprised about 300 pages and 2,100 pictures. The co-driver would issue instructions every 750 metres on average - at an average speed of 91 kph this corresponds to every 29.7 seconds.

-credit: vw