Tunisia : Volkswagen Motorsport - Leg 3
Volkswagen factory driver Giniel de Villiers (South Africa) and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz moved up to second place overall behind Mitsubishi driver Stéphane Peterhansel after winning the Tunisian Rally's third stage.
It was the seventh stage win for Volkswagen this year, the 30th overall. On the rally's longest stage, 325 kilometres, Carlos Sainz initially led the field but lost about 20 minutes and dropped from third to fifth position overall after making a navigational error and subsequently getting bogged down in soft sand.
The Tunisian Rally's fourth stage on Friday leads the teams along a 283 kilometre loop over high sand dunes close to the desert oasis El Borma.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"The third stage was very successful for Volkswagen, with Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz winning on the day. Giniel has closed the gap to current leader Stéphane Peterhansel. Unfortunately, Carlos Sainz and Michel Périn went the wrong way and ended up among some huge dunes where they got bogged down for some minutes."
#201 – Giniel de Villiers - 2nd position overall
"I'm delighted to have taken my first stage win on this rally. The visibility was very bad today because it was so overcast and also due to the rain, it was very difficult to make out the crest of the dunes.
The navigation was also very tricky, we had to retrace our tracks on one occasion, but the other teams lost much more time.”
#203 – Carlos Sainz - 5th position overall
"The start of the stage was very good; we overtook Peterhansel and Schlesser and were right behind Alphand. Just before the fourth hidden check point we realised that we'd driven four kilometres too far to the north. While our rivals followed a loop further to the north we decided to drive due south and lost more than 20 minutes when we got bogged down in soft sand.”
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport