Tunisia : Volkswagen Motorsport - Leg 6
Volkswagen works driver Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz in the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 will be starting to the seventh and final leg of the Tunisia Rally, the second round of the FIA Marathon Rally World Cup,
in second place overall on Easter Monday.
On Sunday, the South African-German duo clocked the second-best stage time behind Stéphane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi) on a 276-kilometre loop around the desert oasis of Ksar Ghilane, thus expanding their lead over Jean-Louis Schlesser (Schlesser-Ford) to 6.02 minutes. Before the 293-kilometre final leg of Ksar Ghilane to the finish at Djerba, there is a 8.45-minute gap between Giniel de Villiers and Stéphane Peterhansel, the overall leader in the event.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"It was a very hard leg, the drivers did a super job. The Race Touareg held up very well to the extreme stress. Merely the gearbox and differential temperatures were high since this leg was extremely slow and the outside temperatures were high. But the competition probably had a similar situation. We still need to improve the car's balance on camel grass. In the subsequent five-day test, we want to achieve some progress in this respect.
This is an important aspect with regard to our preparations for the Dakar Rally in January 2007."
#201 – Giniel de Villiers - 2nd place overall
"The most demanding and physically most strenuous stretch started after 70 kilometres with a 50-kilometre camel grass section through small, pointed dunes, which was extremely hard and where we were superior to the Schlesser Buggy today. Together with the Buggy we had paved a ‘motorway' on which Stéphane Peterhansel approached, and ultimately passed us. After that, we followed Peterhansel on a very fast track but were not able to overtake him in the dense dust. The rally isn't over yet, we're going to give all we've got to the very last kilometre. But it will be difficult to catch up with Peterhansel now. At least we managed to clearly increase the gap between ourselves and third place."
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport