Dakar: Volkswagen stage three report

Volkswagen deserts Europe with good result. Report Leg 3 Rallye Telefónica Dakar (1-19 January 2003) On the final European stage of the Rallye Telefónica Dakar, Volkswagen achieved their best result so far: Together with Bobby Willis, ...

Volkswagen deserts Europe with good result.
Report Leg 3 Rallye Telef?nica Dakar (1-19 January 2003)

On the final European stage of the Rallye Telef?nica Dakar, Volkswagen achieved their best result so far: Together with Bobby Willis, works driver St?phane Henrard set the third fastest time overall on the third special stage. As a result, the Belgian-British duo in the Volkswagen Tarek set the best time for a two wheel drive vehicle as they had already done during the prologue on Wednesday. Henrard strengthened his grip on 15th place overall.

Dieter Depping and Walter Bachhuber.
Photo by Volkswagen Racing.

Dakar newcomer Dieter Depping and his co-driver Walter Bachhuber also impressed with a good result on the Spanish beach in Castell?n, and with eighth place overall achieved the second best rear wheel drive vehicle time. Depping deserted the European continent as best Volkswagen works driver in 13th place overall.

Jutta Kleinschmidt, who lost more than ten minutes on the previous day due to a fault with the handbrake system, made up 15 positions to lie 49th overall before the ferry crossing to Africa. "I would like to have made up even more places, but it simply wasn't possible today", explained the 2001 Dakar winner, who is navigated by Fabrizia Pons. "We started as the 64th team on the route, which at that point in time was already very rutted. There was one good line, and when you left it to overtake the danger of bogging down was high. However, in spite of this we overtook another three competitors."

Rudolf-Helmut Strozyk, director of Volkswagen Racing, expressed his satisfaction with the team's performance: "After two relatively difficult days, we finished the European section of the rally with a reassuringly good result. Thanks to their excellent results today, all three works drivers start from favourable positions for the next stage."

On Saturday all teams travel by ferry to Tunisia, where on Sunday the fourth stage, and consequently the first desert section of the cross country classic awaits.

-vw-

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Series Dakar
Drivers Jutta Kleinschmidt , Fabrizia Pons , Bobby Willis , Dieter Depping , Walter Bachhuber