Dakar: Volkswagen stage one report

Volkswagen leads Dakar Rally after first stage Volkswagen lit the blue touch paper on the opening 83 kilometre stage from Lisbon to Portimao to start the 28th Dakar Rally: Works driver Carlos Sainz leads the desert classic in his Race Touareg 2...

Volkswagen leads Dakar Rally after first stage

Volkswagen lit the blue touch paper on the opening 83 kilometre stage from Lisbon to Portimao to start the 28th Dakar Rally: Works driver Carlos Sainz leads the desert classic in his Race Touareg 2 by 1 minute 30 seconds after the first stage in Portugal on his "Dakar" debut.

Local matador Carlos Sousa lies second in a Nissan. With Bruno Saby in third position followed by team mate Jutta Kleinschmidt, three of the five Volkswagen works drivers are among the top four of the 174 competing teams.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director) "A great start to the 2006 Dakar Rally: Carlos Sainz presented us with the best time. The overall team result is satisfying -- the team has earned itself an enjoyable New Year's Eve. However, we shouldn't forget that this result has nothing to do with the bigger picture, since we haven't even completed two per cent of the route."

#301 -- Bruno Saby (F), 3rd place (leg) / 3rd position overall "That's what I call a good start! We are very pleased with third fastest time on the opening stage. I caught up with Stephane Peterhansel who had dropped down the order because of a puncture. It didn't make any sense to risk overtaking on the muddy circuit."

#303 -- Jutta Kleinschmidt (D), 4th place (leg) / 4th position overall "The rally started well. In spite of the different grip levels throughout the stage the Race Touareg 2 was very well-balanced. We were making rapid progress without taking any real risks. The incredible number of spectators is very impressive."

#305 -- Giniel de Villiers (RSA), 8th place (leg) / 8th position overall "It would have been easier to lose more than you could have gained today. That's why I decided to run at a more cautious pace. I also had to get used to the initial braking characteristics, which are obviously set-up for very warm weather."

#307 -- Carlos Sainz (E), 1st place (leg) / 1st position overall "I'm satisfied to have set the fastest time at the very beginning. The conditions were everything but easy: A junction was difficult to see and we actually had to turn-back. That's why the result is all the more satisfying."

#309 -- Mark Miller (USA), 10th place (leg) / 10th position overall "I'd set out to size-up the rally on the European stages, which definitely paid off since the grip level was difficult to judge under these conditions. The Race Touareg 2 ran perfectly."

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Mark Miller , Carlos Sainz , Jutta Kleinschmidt , Stéphane Peterhansel , Carlos Sousa , Giniel de Villiers , Bruno Saby , Kris Nissen
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport