Dakar: Volkswagen stage 15 report

Fourth-best time makes Volkswagen Race-Touareg quickest diesel again Volkswagen finished the last marathon leg of the Dakar Rally with another very good result: The 15th special stage saw Jutta Kleinschmidt and co-driver Fabrizia Pons keep up ...

Fourth-best time makes Volkswagen Race-Touareg quickest diesel again

Volkswagen finished the last marathon leg of the Dakar Rally with another very good result: The 15th special stage saw Jutta Kleinschmidt and co-driver Fabrizia Pons keep up their series of finishing among the top six since stage 8. Logging the fourth-best time on the way from Tidjikja to Nouakchott, Mauritania, the ladies' duo also clinched the best result in the category of diesel-powered vehicles for the fourth time since the beginning of the world's toughest desert rally.

Teammate Bruno Saby and co-driver Matthew Stevenson, as well, mastered the 579 kilometre long special stage with their Race-Tourag running like a charm. Even two punctures did not frustrate the Franco-British team's pursuit of a good stage result. Finishing this third from the last special stages of the Dakar Rally in eighth place, Bruno Saby has moved up to position six overall.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"My compliments to the whole team, who have done a great job preparing the car. The Race-Touareg has passed the tough test of the marathon stage with distinction, considering the limited service last night by the race truck crew and the two drivers and co-drivers permitted by regulations. Kudos also to our team in Wolfsburg and Hanover, who prepared our entry of the Race-Touareg and, together with Eduard Weidl, managed to design such a good car."

Jutta Kleinschmidt (#204)
"Today, we accomplished another hard day's work. The camel grass and the dunes at the beginning of the stage were a great challenge, followed by a quick section. The final 100 kilometres offered a lot of variety and were good fun. The number of locusts we picked up today filled the whole radiator."

Bruno Saby (#224)
"This special stage was another incredibly strenuous one. The heat, the difficult track and the two punctures were a real drain of energy. I'm relieved to see the Race-Touareg running so reliably on yet another stage."

Two-time defending champion Hiroshi Masuoka from Japan won stage 15 between Tidjikja und Nouakchott. The Mitsubishi driver finished a 579 marathon drive in 6hr 52min 35sec and holds a 9min 11sec margin over French team-mate Stéphane Peterhansel. Nevertheless Peterhansel has a 55:53 lead with two days to go. South Africa's Nissan driver Giniel De Villiers finished on third place, 17:32 behind the winner. Andrea Meyer finished on second place and had a gap of 33:17 minutes.

In the overall standings Peterhansel defended his lead with 55:53 hours ahead 2003 champion Masuoka. The Frenchman bidding to become only the second competitor to win the Dakar on two wheels as well as four. In third place Jean-Louis Schlesser follows 2:55:16 hours behind.

-vw-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Jean-Louis Schlesser , Jutta Kleinschmidt , Fabrizia Pons , Hiroshi Masuoka , Stéphane Peterhansel , Matthew Stevenson , Bruno Saby , Kris Nissen
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport