Morocco : Volkswagen Motorsport - Leg 5
One day before the end of the Morocco Rally Volkswagen factory driver Giniel de Villiers along with his co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz continues to defend his lead. Prior to the 222-kilometre final stage around Ouarzazate the duo in
the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2, which has been leading the rally since day one, has a 1.51-minute advantage over Mitsubishi driver Stéphane Peterhansel. Team-mate Carlos Sainz was initially leading the leg but then hit a rock, which had the effect of a springboard.
The rough landing in a ditch produced a rebound action in the steering, causing Sainz to injure his left hand. The Spanish driver was able to finish the leg in seventh place, now ranking in third overall, but will not compete on the final day. Carlos Sousa in the Race Touareg 2 of Team Lagos, entered by Volkswagen semi-works team Phoenix Sport, is in seventh place overall. Having clinched fifth place in the special stage today, the Portuguese achieved his best result so far on the penultimate day.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
"We are sorry for Carlos Sainz because hand injury prevents him from continuing to drive. The type of injury he sustained is now being diagnosed at the hospital. The last day of the rally will be a real thriller.
We're going to do everything to defend our lead and bring home our second victory of the season. All three cars were running perfectly every day."
#201 – Giniel de Villiers : 1st place overall
"In the beginning we followed Stéphane Peterhansel, caught Hiroshi Masuoka and overtook him. Only a short time later we had a puncture and were forced to stop. Masuoka passed us, we found ourselves driving in his dust for a while and overtook him, but then we suffered a second puncture and had to change the wheel again."
#203 – Carlos Sainz : 3rd place overall
"We hit a rock with our left front wheel halfway through the leg. We ended up alongside the track and my hand hit the steering wheel hard in the process. Because the Race Touareg was not damaged we reached the finish. A little later, though, I started feeling severe pains in my hand."
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport