Dakar: Volkswagen stage 10 report

Volkswagen in third and fifth positions with Miller and Sainz Volkswagen finished the tenth stage of the 29th Dakar Rally in third and fifth positions. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/South Africa), currently sixth overall in the "Dakar" and ...

Volkswagen in third and fifth positions with Miller and Sainz

Volkswagen finished the tenth stage of the 29th Dakar Rally in third and fifth positions. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/South Africa), currently sixth overall in the "Dakar" and therefore now best placed Volkswagen drivers, scored their personal best result with third positions.

On the 400 kilometre long loop through the savannah around Nema in Mauritania, the two English speaking professionals in the Race Touareg 2 were only 1:49 minutes slower than day winner Nasser Al-Attiyah from Qatar in a BMW. The Japanese driver Hiroshi Masuoka in a Mitsubishi was second.

The Volkswagen factory drivers Carlos Sainz (Spain) and Giniel de Villiers (South Africa) started a courageous fight back. Both were towed to yesterday's stage finish by Race-Trucks, losing an enormous amount of time in the process, after both cars succumbed to engine problems -- the reason for both defects was a defective cam-follower in the valve train. A remarkable team effort overnight saw both cars prepared to take the start today. Carlos Sainz and his French co-driver Michel Périn started the tenth stage punctually and incredibly posted the fifth fastest time despite running in the dust clouds of their direct competitors. In the overall standings, which are still headed by the Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel in a Mitsubishi, the duo hold tenth position.

Giniel de Villiers finished 14th on the day together with his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz. Because the repair work was only finished in the early hours of the morning, the duo started the stage 22 minutes late and arrived at the finish only 23m50s behind the winner. They are now twelfth overall, the Portuguese-German duo Carlos Sousa/Andreas Schulz (Lagos-Team) remain seventh.

Coming up...

Wednesday, 17 January, Nema (MR) -- Ayoun El Atrous (MR): 0 km stage/280 km total. After the marathon stage to Timbuktu was cancelled due safety reasons, the competitors only complete a liaison stage to Ayoun El Atrous on Thursday, where the 275 kilometre eleventh stage to Kayes in Mali starts on 18 January.

-credit: vw

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Mark Miller , Carlos Sainz , Hiroshi Masuoka , Andreas Schulz , Stéphane Peterhansel , Carlos Sousa , Giniel de Villiers , Nasser Al-Attiyah , Michel Périn , Ralph Pitchford