Team quotes after leg nine Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director) "We were on the receiving end of a couple of hard blows today. However, it doesn't change the fact that I am extremely proud of the team. Everybody made a huge contribution...
Team quotes after leg nine
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"We were on the receiving end of a couple of hard blows today. However, it doesn't change the fact that I am extremely proud of the team. Everybody made a huge contribution to enable Volkswagen to lead the rally from the opening day and to get the better of Mitsubishi in direct competition -- until yesterday. It's difficult for us to accept that we are no longer leading and that it is almost impossible to win now. You can win innumerable stages during this rally and must nevertheless only lose one to be the loser at the finish. This is the difference between the Dakar Rally and other competitions such as a football season, in which a single loss does not cost the championship. Our objectives now are to enable Giniel and Carlos to continue, to score as many good stage results as possible and to claim a tidy result at finish."
#301 -- Giniel de Villiers (RSA)
"We were leading the rally when a roller tappet in the valve train broke. It punched a hole in the cylinder head cover and the escaping oil momentarily caught fire. We were able to put the flash fire out with the onboard fire extinguisher. The damage couldn't be repaired on the stage, which is why we had to be towed-in by the Race Truck."
#303 -- Carlos Sainz (E)
"The engine died and never restarted after we'd made a hard landing in a pothole. Mark Miller stopped to help, as did Carlos Sousa. The engine refused to fire up again even after we'd replaced the electronic components and tried to bump start it. So, the Race-Truck hitched us up."
#305 -- Mark Miller (USA), 10th place (leg) / 6th position overall
"We ran at an excellent pace, we overtook a Mitsubishi and a BMW and were lying third at the first time check point. When we came across Giniel, we stopped for about 30 seconds but he told us to continue. Later we followed Luc Alphand, but drove defensively -- so, he had nothing to worry about. Then we made an inspired move: Carlos Sainz was shadowing us very closely. We let him past, what Alphand didn't notice, and so he let Carlos past by mistake because he thought that it was my car. Unfortunately, Carlos ground to a halt. We pulled up alongside him and worked for around 35 minutes trying to repair the car, we changed the ECU -- all to no avail."
-credit: vw motorsport