Dakar: Volkswagen stage 12 report

Carlos Sainz claims seventh stage win for Volkswagen One-two for Volkswagen on twelfth stage of the Dakar Rally: Factory driver Carlos Sainz (Spain) and co-driver Michel Périn (France) won the 484 kilometre stage from Ayoun-el-Atrous...

Carlos Sainz claims seventh stage win for Volkswagen

One-two for Volkswagen on twelfth stage of the Dakar Rally: Factory driver Carlos Sainz (Spain) and co-driver Michel Périn (France) won the 484 kilometre stage from Ayoun-el-Atrous (Mauritania) to Kayes (Mali) in their Race Touareg.

They clocked up a lead of 3:53 minutes over their Volkswagen comrades Carlos Sousa/Andy Schulz (Portugal/Germany) who drive a Race Touareg for Lagos-Team. It was Volkswagen's seventh stage win and the third for double Rally World Champion Carlos Sainz during the 29th running of the "Dakar". Third position went to the French Mitsubishi driver and last year's overall winner Luc Alphand.

Even though today's twelfth stage held many pitfalls in store for the teams because of the tricky navigation and dense, tall bushes, the Volkswagen factory pairing of Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/South Africa) moved up the leader board after finishing eighth today. The duo overhauled two-time "Dakar" winner and Mitsubishi factory driver Hiroshi Masuoka from Japan in the overall standings, and are now best placed Volkswagen team in fifth position. Sousa/Schulz are still seventh, Sainz/Périn moved up one position to ninth. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (South Africa/Germany) finished the day in twentieth position in their Race Touareg, 25:47 minutes behind the winner owing to a navigational error, but nevertheless still hold twelfth overall. Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi/France) holds the overall lead.

Standings after stage 12, Ayoun-el-Atrous (MR) -- Kayes (ML); 257/484 km stage 11/total

Coming up...

Friday, 19 January, Kayes (ML) -- Tambacounda (SN): 260 km stage/458 km total. After crossing the border between Mali and the Senegal, the Dakar Rally's third from last stage leads across stony paths before sprinting along fast laterite tracks. The rally armada erects the final bivouac in Tambacounda in the evening.

-credit: vw

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Series Dakar
Drivers Mark Miller , Carlos Sainz , Luc Alphand , Hiroshi Masuoka , Stéphane Peterhansel , Giniel de Villiers , Michel Périn , Ralph Pitchford , Andy Schulz