Silk Way Rally: Volkswagen stage 6 report

First stage win for Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk in Russia Wolfsburg (16 September 2010). The Volkswagen "Dakar" duos decided the sixth leg of the Silk Way Rally through Russia in their favour by clinching another one-two-three exploit. Nasser ...

First stage win for Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk in Russia

Wolfsburg (16 September 2010). The Volkswagen "Dakar" duos decided the sixth leg of the Silk Way Rally through Russia in their favour by clinching another one-two-three exploit. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D) celebrated their first stage win at the "Dakar" dress rehearsal. Their team colleagues Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) confirmed their third position overall by setting the second-fastest time. The front runners of the rally, Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E), defended a major portion of their overall advantage. All three Volkswagen Race Touareg vehicles contested the 389.05-kilometre special stage featuring varied terrain with just small gaps between them. Navigating differences were the only crucial factor. Two days before the end of the Silk Way Rally Sainz/Cruz are leading overall with an advantage of 12m 48s ahead of Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk. Miller/Pitchford are following in third place with another 26m 34s-gap.

The route of the Silk Way Rally's sixth leg led from Astrakhan to the multi-cultural town of Elista in the Russian republic of Kalmykia. On the way to the chess metropolis where the board game is a mandatory subject for school children and which is colloquially called "The Sandy One" steppe sections with tricky navigation and passages with soft, sandy soil were on the agenda.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"A perfect day for Volkswagen. Our three Race Touareg crews perfectly tackled a tough day with good teamwork. Congratulations from me to Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk, who worked as team players and skilfully clinched the stage win as well. All Race Touareg vehicles were again running like clockwork - and with respect to the Dakar Rally that's the most important piece of information."

#100 - Carlos Sainz (E), 3rd place leg / 1st place overall
"An interesting day for all Volkswagen duos. After a few kilometres as the first vehicle on the route we didn't immediately use the right branch-off. This cost us some time and Mark Miller was able to catch up with us. Nasser Al-Attiyah, as well, had come close to us due to some navigation details, so we largely contested the stage together. Thanks to a good time cushion in the overall standings we can tackle the next two days with confidence, albeit with due caution: in this motorsport discipline you never know what may still be in store."

#102 - Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), 1st place leg / 2nd place overall
"Today was like a birthday for me. Everything seemed to be working in my favour this time - and this leg was the gift. It suited me and my co-driver Timo Gottschalk straight from the start. It was important for us to have finally clinched a stage win too. Since we were the third duo to go out on the track we carried some additional spare parts for all three Race Touareg vehicles just in case. We won't need to haul this additional weight tomorrow because we'll be opening the course. I'm looking forward to that. Maybe we'll be able to make up some more time."

#104 - Mark Miller (USA), 2nd place leg / 3rd place overall
"After just a few kilometres we came up to Carlos Sainz who had apparently gotten lost. From then on we kept staying close to him. The lead only changed between us due to a different choice of route. It was a nice leg with many great impressions of the country and the people."

Number of the day

During the Silk Way Rally the Volkswagen team carries 402 aluminium transport boxes for spare parts and equipment. Each Race Touareg has its own service truck assigned to it for spare parts supply and garage equipment.

-source: vw

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Mark Miller , Carlos Sainz , Nasser Al-Attiyah , Timo Gottschalk , Ralph Pitchford , Kris Nissen
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport