Tunisia : Volkswagen Motorsport - Prologue
Wolfsburg (9 April 2006) Finishing the four-kilometre prologue in Nice in first and fourth places respectively, Volkswagen works drivers Carlos Sainz and Giniel de Villiers with their new co-drivers Michel Périn and Dirk von Zitzewitz
started into the Rally of Tunisia. In slightly overcast spring weather, thousands of enthusiastic rally fans were lining the narrow mountain pass in the hinterland of Nice to witness the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 cars and their rivals on the only special stage in Europe.
Immediately after the prologue the rally convoy with 58 cars, 59 motorcycles and 85 support vehicles rolled onto the ferry for Tunisia. From the port of Tunis the route will lead to the first bivouac at Ras El Oued on Monday where the first 288-kilometre special stage in Africa will start on Tuesday morning.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"Today's show stage near Nice in front of many enthusiastic fans is a nice beginning for this rally. Both Race Touareg cars ran perfectly. But the real competition starts in Africa. Until the finish in Djerba we have seven tough legs and 2039 classified kilometres ahead of us. A good preparation for the 2007 Dakar Rally.
#201 – Giniel de Villiers - 4th place overall
"On the four-kilometre show stage there was more to lose than to gain. The road through the mountains is very narrow, it is easy to damage the car on the rocks. Today we took no risks because the time until the departure is short and it's easy to miss the boat.”
#203 – Carlos Sainz - 1st place overall
"Of course first place in the prologue is a great way to start this rally. This stage was not typical for a marathon rally and was more like the legs in the WRC. That suited me well. From Tuesday, new territory will be awaiting me in Africa: This is not only my first Tunisia Rally, but also my first stint with Michel Périn as my co-driver."
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport