Volkswagen at the "Dakar": Driver and co-driver comments
Driver and co-driver comments at the finish
#301 -- Bruno Saby (F)
"Volkswagen has demonstrated that it belongs to the 'Dakar'. This is recognition for the entire squad and motivation for the future. We could have won here. Personally, I'm a little disappointed since we had just a single problem that cost us almost seven hours. If this hadn't been the case, we could have fought for the win. We would have liked to have been in with a shout until the very finish."
#301 -- Michel Perin (F)
"The rally made a very positive impression; we've improved immeasurably since last year. It goes without saying that I'm a little disappointed, because a win would have been great. I have the feeling that Bruno Saby and I could have accomplished something very big here. Giniel and Tina did a fantastic job. We are proud to be apart of this team."
#303 -- Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)
"It was a successful rally for Volkswagen. Finishing second with such a small gap to the winner is a significant improvement over last year. We would obviously have liked to win, but you can't programme success. The first week went very well; it was a very close fight. On occasion the top three were all within 30 seconds. I would have preferred more sand, although we do have a small disadvantage in this area. Our accident was unlucky, but we had already lost the race earlier when we got badly bogged down. However, we would have rather finished the rally."
#303 -- Fabrizia Pons (I)
"Unfortunately the organisers selected a route this year containing less sand and desert sections as in previous years. We only drove for three days in the real desert in Mauretania. I would have liked more sand. The new navigation rules are okay, when the road book is very accurate, which unfortunately wasn't the case this year. Even the changes which were distributed each evening before the following day's stage were sometimes false. We'll have to improve this together with the organisers."
#305 -- Giniel de Villiers (RSA)
"It was a fantastic rally, and it goes without saying that I'm pleased with second place. It's an excellent result for Tina and I and the team. Everybody in the Volkswagen team did an excellent job. It was nerve wracking till the very end, and it really could have gone either way. Winning was certainly possible -- it was tantalisingly close."
#305 -- Tina Thorner (S)
"It was a typical 'Dakar' with some extremely demanding stages but also some easier ones. The organisation was better than in previous years. I'm delighted about finishing second -- but it is quite amazing that only a little less than 18 minutes separated us from victory after more than 9,000 kilometres."
#307 -- Carlos Sainz (E)
"I'm happy to have mastered my first Dakar Rally. If you think that I'd never driven a special stage in the desert or on camel grass before then things went very well. Without our clutch problem, for which I am to blame, we could have fought for a podium position. I've learnt an enormous amount over the last 15 days. I'm looking forward to the next 'Dakar'."
#307 -- Andreas Schulz (D)
"Working with Carlos Sainz was very entertaining. I was impressed by the speed at which he learnt and just how much he remembered. The thing that impressed me the most was the high-level at which he started here. He was more than a match for Stephane Peterhansel from the word go."
#309 -- Mark Miller (USA)
"I'm totally impressed by my first 'Dakar' event for the Volkswagen Motorsport team. The entire squad is very professional and focused. The Race Touareg 2 is already a car with which you can win. Working alongside Dirk was great fun."
#309 -- Dirk von Zitzewitz (D)
"It was a difficult 'Dakar' and the final three stages were particularly tough on the equipment. Owing to the new navigation rules my job as co-driver was also more complicated than last year, which was made even more complicated by the occasional ambiguity of the road book. Mark and I learnt a huge amount. To be honest, we'd much rather head off for the next Dakar."