Posted: 04 Jan 2011 03:32 PM PST
Volkswagen is leading the Dakar Rally after the third of 13 stages with two Race Touareg 3 cars. With a strong showing Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D) improved to position two overall. The duo took the stage win on the 731-kilometre leg with a 25-second advantage over their Volkswagen team colleagues Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E).
On the route from San Miguel de Tucumán to San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina the Spaniards only needed a second-place stage result to maintain their lead. Sainz/Cruz have been the front runners since the start of the world’s toughest rally and now have an advantage of 3m 34s. The two other Volkswagen squads in the field had a good day as well. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) consolidated their fourth place overall by finishing today’s special in fifth place. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA), who lost 52m 26s due to a rollover yesterday, were part of the action at the front of the field again. The feat of repairing the vehicle performed by the Volkswagen mechanics was rewarded with a sixth-place finish today.
The stage led across quick gravel passages in open terrain, through canyons and pastureland. Bushes and trees obscured the vision of the teams on the second part of the special stage which took them to the edges of the jungle. The drivers and co-drivers had to watch out for plenty of stones along the route and be careful not to damage the vehicle.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
#300 – Carlos Sainz (E), 2nd place leg / 1st place overall
#302 – Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), 1st place leg / 2nd place overall
#304 – Mark Miller (USA), 6th place leg / 12th place overall
#308 – Giniel de Villiers (ZA), 5th place leg / 4th place overall
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