Dakar: Volkswagen stage 13 report

Volkswagen is leading diesel engine competitor. Volkswagen can pleased about a new leading position in the Rallye Telefónica Dakar: The Volkswagen Tareks are the leading diesel engine vehicles in the world's toughest desert rally, after fellow...

Volkswagen is leading diesel engine competitor.

Volkswagen can pleased about a new leading position in the Rallye Telef?nica Dakar: The Volkswagen Tareks are the leading diesel engine vehicles in the world's toughest desert rally, after fellow competitor Gr?goire de M?vius did not contest the 13th stage. The buggies are powered by a 218 HP 1.9 litre TDI® unit developed by Volkswagen Racing at their main factory in Wolfsburg. Simultaneously, on the competition's second longest stage with 569 kilometres, both drivers consolidated their top ten positions. St?phane Henrard and co-pilot Bobby Willis maintained their seventh place in the desert classic's interim standings with ninth quickest time. Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons strengthened their grip on ninth place overall with tenth fastest time on Wednesday.

St?phane Henrard and Bobby Willis.
Photo by Volkswagen Racing.

The previous day Jutta Kleinschmidt staged a successful fight back, but lost a few minutes on the way from Siwa to Dakhla. "A tyre failure on the driven axle forced a change between the second and third time checks", said the 2001 Dakar winner. "As it happened in very deep sand, we had to let some air out of the tyre before driving off causing us to lose even more time." With a deficit of 112 minutes to Ari Vatanen and an advantage of almost 73 minutes over Jose Luis Monterde the time loss will have very little effect on the women's team in the overall classification in the four remaining stages over 1150 special stage kilometres.

For Rudolf-Helmut Strozyk, director of Volkswagen Racing, the result was of particular significance: "The twelfth stage was already outstanding, and now on the extremely long thirteenth stage, we have again achieved a very satisfying result. Jutta's tyre failure is obviously annoying, but we are pleased with an otherwise perfect day across the varied terrain with its challenging sections. To be, as of now, best team with diesel technology, to have the leading two cars with two wheel drive and to be lying in the top ten with both cars is an extremely promising interim result. If the team remains focused till the final kilometre, we have a chance of maintaining our positions till the end."

-vw-

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Series Dakar
Drivers Jutta Kleinschmidt , Fabrizia Pons , Bobby Willis , Ari Vatanen , Jose Luis Monterde