Morocco : Volkswagen Motorsport - Leg 1
Volkswagen factory drivers Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (RSA/D) and Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F) in two Race Touareg 2 cars clinched the one-two lead on the first leg of the Morocco Rally. At the start to the six-day cross-country
rally through the eastern part of Morocco the teams completed two heats on a 137-kilometre loop south of the starting location, Erfoud, at temperatures above 35 degrees.
The Portuguese Carlos Sousa finished his first leg in a Race Tourag privately entered by Team Lagos, fielded by Volkswagen's semi-works team Phoenix Sport, in seventh place overall without any problems.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"Congratulations to the entire team which keeps me up to speed about the rally via SMS. Because of other urgent commitments I won't be able to go to Morocco until Thursday. Today Giniel and Dirk showed that they are in the class of absolutely top-flight drivers in cross-country rallying. After taking a longer break from the competitions Carlos Sainz and Michel Périn returned with a strong performance. Carlos Sousa needs to be allowed some time to get accustomed to the Touareg which is new to him, besides that, several months have passed since his last rally competition."
#201 – Giniel de Villiers : 1st place overall
"We're satisfied. After heavy rainfalls prior to the rally the route was changed at short notice.
On the first heat after roughly 60 kilometres I caught Stéphane Peterhansel who let us pass. In the end, the navigation was demanding because we were the first car out. After winning the first heat with a three-second lead, only Carlos Sainz was quicker on the second."
#203 – Carlos Sainz : 2nd place overall
"The special stage was very quick, just the middle section was very rough and covered with stones. On the first heat we caught Nani Roma in his Mitsubishi, then drove a parallel track and were able to pass him. I'm happy to be back in the cockpit. Having finished as the runner-up overall gives us a good starting base for the longest leg on Thursday."
#207 – Carlos Sousa - 7th place overall
"The race will only start for me tomorrow, I needed the first leg to get accustomed to the car. That's why the times I clocked were not the most important thing for me. I'm very satisfied, by creating the Race Tourareg, Volkswagen has achieved a highly competitive car ."
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport