Dakar: Volkswagen stage eight report

Volkswagen jump successfully into top five. It was reputed to be one of the most difficult sections of the entire competition -- with a total of 727 kilometres, 497 kilometres of the stage from Ghat to Sabha were run against the clock....

Volkswagen jump successfully into top five.

It was reputed to be one of the most difficult sections of the entire competition -- with a total of 727 kilometres, 497 kilometres of the stage from Ghat to Sabha were run against the clock. Volkswagen took centre stage with the Tarek in the ochre tinted Akakus massif in Libya. Together with Fabrizia Pons, works driver Jutta Kleinschmidt set the sixth fastest time of the entire stage, as her teammates St?phane Henrard and Bobby Willis crossed the finish line ninth. The Volkswagen Teams moved up to fifth and sixth positions respectively in the overall classification after the second part of the event's marathon stage concept.

Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons.
Photo by Volkswagen Racing.

"Also on this difficult stage, both drivers have done an incredibly good job, of which we are very pleased", summarised Rudolf-Helmut Strozyk, director of Volkswagen Racing. "With the exception of a few minor details, such as today's tyre failure on Jutta's car both Tarek buggies functioned perfectly. With the winner's average speed of 125.6 kph, today's stage was extremely fast. On the high-speed stages we have no chance against the leaders. That we then finish in the top five is even more satisfying for us. However, we are not in good spirits because Kenjiro Shinozuka a competitor of ours has been very badly injured today. In this way we wish both him and Thierry Delli-Zotti, his co driver, all the best."

Jutta Kleinschmidt, who gained four positions within a day, was very satisfied with the eighth stage. "We had a good stage. We only had to change the left rear wheel just before the first check point after a stone got jammed between the brake caliper and wheel, and the tyre lost air. Up to the first checkpoint we managed to maintain the tyre pressure with the compressed air system. The wheel change cost us several minutes. Irrespective of the sporting events, our thoughts are obviously with my former team colleague Kenjiro Shinozuka and his co-driver today."

-vw-

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Series Dakar
Drivers Jutta Kleinschmidt , Fabrizia Pons , Bobby Willis , Kenjiro Shinozuka , Thierry Delli-Zotti