Dakar : Volkswagen Motorsport - Leg 12
Volkswagen moved up to second position overall only three stages before the end of this increasingly tense Dakar Rally. A mere 20 minutes separate works driver Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Tina Thörner in the Race Touareg from
new leader Luc Alphand (Mitsubishi).
On the 872 kilometre long twelfth stage de Villiers arrived at the finish in third place, while previous leader Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi) lost the lead to Alphand after hitting a tree. Nani Roma leads Peterhansel, who is fourth and now eight minutes in front of fifth placed Mark Miller in another Volkswagen Race Touareg. The day's stage from Bamako in Mali to Labé in Guinea marks the first part of the so-called marathon stage during which only the competing Race-Trucks can carry out the evening service to rally cars – alongside the drivers and co-drivers who must also roll- up their sleeves today.
Kris Nissen - Volkswagen Motorsport Director :
« What a day! Giniel de Villiers is now second – fantastic. Yesterday fate hit Jutta, today Mitsubishi and Peterhansel – it's a long and extremely tough rally. We still have more than 1,300 kilometres to go. Our drivers looked after their equipment today on the marathon stage and all drove very well. »
N°301 - Bruno Saby :
« We drove the entire time behind Giniel to help him in an emergency. We only lost him after we had to stop to change a punctured tyre 100 kilometres before the finish. The route was very dusty, twisty and narrow today. »
N°305 - Giniel de Villiers :
« We are now second – a fantastic feeling after a stage where it was very easy to make mistakes. The road book was very inaccurate and we were the first car into the stage today after winning yesterday, but everything went well for us. »
N°307 - Carlos Sainz :
« We caught up with Luc Alphand 60 kilometres after the start. We hit a boulder obscured by his dust cloud. We didn't only damage a tyre but also had to clamp a brake pipe. We suffered another two punctures later on. »
N°309 - Mark Miller :
« After only 45 kilometres we caught up a Pro-Truck that got stuck in a mud hole during one of the 20 or so water splashes. We had to push him out as he had blocked the track. On top of this we also had to change two tyres today. A very difficult and stop- start day.
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport