Three questions to Ernst Moser
Marathon for support armada: At 775 kilometres in length, the fifth day of the Dakar Rally was the second longest stage for the four Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 prototypes. The day was also extremely long for the accompanying armada, which had
to spool off 664 kilometres along a tarmac road from the bivouac in Ouarzazate to Tan Tan. The team's trucks hit the road at 2 o'clock in the morning to make sure they reached the stage finish before the rally cars, and to set-up the Volkswagen bivouac. After completing the 720 kilometre service-route from Tan Tan to Zouerat, which includes several off-road segments, the support vehicles are expected to arrive late at the bivouac on Thursday, as they can only leave the Tan Tan after the rally cars have left. The reason for this rule is the organised crossing of a minefield on the border with Mauretania.
The South African Cornel de Villiers is one of the leading riders in the quad bike class. However, he is not related to Volkswagen factory driver Giniel de Villiers. "But I do know Cornel”, says Giniel de Villiers, whose surname originates from French ancestors that settled centuries ago in the region of South Africa where the factory driver lives today. "I told him that he must be completely crazy to do the 'Dakar' on a Quad.” Unfortunately, engine failure forced him to retire on the fifth stage.
Spectator enclosure in bivouac at Tan Tan
The airfield in the Moroccan town of Tan Tan is the destination for several hundreds of enthusiastic Dakar Rally fans from around the world every year. The rally enthusiasts, including many fans of the Volkswagen factory team, camp around the perimeter of the airfield in camper vans. Many fans visited the Volkswagen bivouac in the afternoon, to watch the mechanics working and catch a glimpse of the drivers.”
Three questions to Ernst Moser, Team Boss Phoenix Sport (Lagos Team)
After the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally, Carlos Sousa holds third place overall in a Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 from Lagos Team, run by Phoenix Sport.
Are you surprised by this?
"There's no denying that the rally has run fantastically well until now. Carlos Sousa won a stage, and he led the rally up to the second stage. We receive excellent material and great support from Volkswagen, our Race Touareg is identical to the factory cars. We thought that things could be good. But is also a surprise for us that things are running so well. I really hope that this trend continues.”
What are your targets?
"We'll attempt to defend our position all the way to the rest day in Atar on 13 January, which is followed by the marathon stage. After that, the field will almost certainly be even more spread out and the rally even harder.”
How big is the Team Lagos team, and how is the cooperation with Volkswagen functioning?
"We are in fact a small, but extremely close-knit team that has benefited enormously from its experience gained during the Dakar Rally in 2006 when we supported Mark Miller's factory car. There are eleven team members following in a Service-Truck, a T5 van and a Service-Touareg. In addition, we also receive excellent support in many areas from Volkswagen Motorsport.”