Tunisia : Volkswagen Motorsport - Leg 5
Volkswagen factory driver Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz recorded the second fastest time on the Tunisian Rally's fifth stage. The South African-German duo were only defeated in the fight for the day's victory
on the 298 kilometre stage from El Borma to Ksar Ghilane by Buggy driver Jean-Louis Schlesser, while overall leader Stéphane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi) crossed the line in third and Dakar winner Luc Alphand (Mitsubishi) retired after rolling.
Volkswagen works driver Carlos Sainz and co-driver Michel Périn were unable to continue following a roll on Friday's stage. The sixth and penultimate stage of the Tunisian Rally runs along a 276 kilometre loop through the dunes around Ksar Ghilane on Easter Monday.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"The stage was very interesting; Giniel and Dirk drove exceptionally well, and by finishing second today beat Stéphane Peterhansel by a few seconds. This very fast stage was however a typical Buggy route, we couldn't match Jean-Louis Schlesser's pace. The Race Touareg 2 performed faultlessly.
I'm particularly proud of the team's performance: After Carlos Sainz's accident we decided to split the team, a group of mechanics headed into the dunes on Friday evening to retrieve Carlos' car. They camped overnight in sleeping bags, tents and only what was absolutely necessary and were already on their way back this afternoon.”
#201 – Giniel de Villiers - / 2nd position overall
"A fantastic stage that ran through a range of small sand hills this morning. We have to improve our suspension over such terrain; we caught up the Mitsubishis afterwards. Unfortunately we took a wrong turn after 170 kilometres and lost two minutes, which was a shame as we could have taken even more time off Stéphane Peterhansel. We are expecting a tough fight on Sunday since Jean-Louis Schlesser is only thirty seconds behind. We obviously want to retain our second position.”
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport