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Accomplished debut for new Race Touareg 2
Baja Portalegre : Volkswagen Motorsport - Finish
A good start for the new Volkswagen Race Touareg 2: in second, third and fourth place overall Volkswagen works drivers Jutta Kleinschmidt/Fabrizia Pons, Carlos Sainz/Andy Schulz and Bruno Saby/Michel Périn finished the Rallye
Baja Portalegre in Portugal, respectively. At his marathon rally debut, the two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz set a fast time on the first day. On the second day of the event, as well, the Spaniard was leading, but dropped back due to a broken bolt on the exhaust system. Sainz crowned his first outing as a member of the Volkswagen factory team with another stage victory on the 102-kilometre final special stage.

In Portugal the Volkswagen works drivers had to wrestle with torrential rainfalls. Particularly the second and longest leg with two special stages covering 169 and 222 kilometres, respectively, took them across muddy and slippery roads. Like their team-mates, Bruno Saby and co-driver Michel Périn, who had clinched an early title win in the Marathon Rally World Cup for Volkswagen in July, lost time as a result of poor vision caused by window fogging. Volkswagen's new signing Mark Miller and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz finished the Marathon Rally World Cup in a Volkswagen Race Touareg in sixth place.

Prof Wilfried Bockelmann - Corporate Coordination Technical Development Volkswagen AG :
“On the three days of the competition, the new Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 continuously proved its performance. Several of our drivers, but particularly our new signing, Carlos Sainz, have shown that the vehicle – already - is capable of achieving victory. Unfortunately, we forfeited our chance to claim first place because of a minor problem.“

Kris Nissen - Volkswagen Motorsport Director :
“The whole rally was a great success. The decision to participate in this event before the start to the Dakar Rally was right on the dot. The whole squad have done a superb job in these extremely difficult conditions. Now we look forward to the ‘Dakar' with optimism.“

Eduard Weidl - Technical Director Volkswagen Motorsport :
“We are very satisfied with the performance of the new Race Touareg 2. Jutta and Carlos were leading the rally at times, and even a double victory would have been possible. We learned a lot here. Although the new Touareg had been subjected to extensive testing in the desert, we encountered some problems with moisture in the vehicle in the rain and mud here. We' re going to find a solution for this. The squad deserve a gold medal, because contesting a rally with such a high level of motivation after two weeks of intensive testing was truly a strong performance.“

N°306 - Jutta Kleinschmidt :
“I'm more than satisfied with my second place. The new Race Touareg 2 handles very well, particularly in tight corners the new car gives improved visual orientation. I'm convinced that we we're capable of clinching victory. Unfortunately, on the third and ultimate leg, after roughly 60 kilometres, we had a puncture of the left rear tyre which cost us approximately three minutes.“

N°305 - Carlos Sainz :
“Clinching a podium place at my debut in the Volkswagen team and in marathon rally sport, was very good. I'm particularly happy about my two stage victories. I learned a lot here about this sport. Now we're going to sort a few more things before the start to the Dakar Rally.“

N°301 - Bruno Saby :BR> “It was a difficult rally. But we learned a lot for the Dakar Rally here. Because we can expect such course conditions with mud, rain and slippery tracks on the first legs of the ‘Dakar' in Portugal and Morocco as well. Now we're going to focus our work on being better prepared for such conditions.“

N°310 - Mark Miller :
“These were three turbulent days. For me, it was important to work together with the team in the competition and under pressure. After the many kilometres of testing, it was a perfect thing to contest a rally as well. I'm satisfied and now looking forward to the Dakar Rally.“
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport


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