Volkswagen Race-Touareg proves itself on first tough stage in Africa The Volkswagen works drivers Jutta Kleinschmidt/Fabrizia Pons improved their position by a further four places during the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally and are now twelve ...
Volkswagen Race-Touareg proves itself on first tough stage in Africa
The Volkswagen works drivers Jutta Kleinschmidt/Fabrizia Pons improved their position by a further four places during the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally and are now twelve overall. The 337 kilometre long stage between Er Rachidia and Ouarzazate in Morocco included everything that a typical Dakar stage could throw at the competitors, from stony sections to undulating tracks and the crossing of the sand dune mountain range 'Erg Chebbib'. The German lady had already fought her way up to ninth position in the day's stage before the third time check point, positioned after 229 kilometres, before falling back in the dust cloud of a car in front. Her team colleagues Bruno Saby/Matthew Stevenson were unlucky. The French-British duo slipped down to 20th position overall in the overall classification after a stone wrecked the rear left brake caliper.
(Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"On the first long stage it was already clear that several teams took a more tactical approach while others took many risks and must now make many repairs. We are satisfied that we are on the right path with our pace. Both drivers confirm that the Race-Touareg is also very forgiving to drive over difficult terrain."
"That really should have been our stage. Unfortunately we had to drive in Nasser Al Attiyan's dust cloud at the beginning and simply couldn't overtake safely. After the first check point we had a clear road, but then we briefly took the wrong route! So we caught up with Al Attiyan once more and start directly behind him again tomorrow morning. The Race-Touareg ran fantastically well on both the stony and sandy tracks."
"After a stone destroyed the brake caliper we had to stop and make an emergency repair by clamping the brake pipe. After that we obviously only had braking on three wheels and drove at reduced speed to the finish."
Stéphane Peterhansel has won the fifth stage of the Rally Dakar 2004 between Er Rachidia and Ouarzazate (337 kilometres). In his Mitsubishi the Frenchman made the victory after 3:14,11 hours on the pit through the Moroccan desert with last year's champion Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsubishi) from Japan 4:35 minutes adrift. On third place Giniel De Villiers (Republic South Africa) in his Nissan came in 12:55 minutes behind.