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Central Europe Rally Special-Newssection (1st round Dakar-Series 2008)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Central Europe Rally 2008, the first round of the new Dakar-Series. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Central Europe Rally: Volkswagen driver Depping celebrates leg win.

First competition contested with the Volkswagen Race Touareg, second leg, first win: in the second of the seven legs of the Central Europe Rally, Germany’s Dieter Depping gave Volkswagen their second leg win. Together with his co-driver, Timo Gottschalk, the 41-year old completed the addition of the two selective and particularly demanding special stages held around the Romanian city of Baia Mare faster than anybody else, thus moving up to third position in the overall standings.

At the same time, Volkswagen Motorsport holds additional top position in the overall standings: Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F), the winners of leg one, hold the runner-up position, 22 seconds behind the current leader, Stéphane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi). Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (RSA/D), however, lost some time due to a windscreen-wiper problem and will start into the third day of the rally from ninth place, behind Carlos Sousa/Andreas Schulz (P/D) in the Race Touareg 2 of customer team Lagos. Altogether, four Race Touaregs hold top-ten positions.

Dieter Depping (D): "Having secured my maiden leg win feels just great! The special stages suited my style of driving really well and Timo did a fantastic job navigating. During the course of the first longish section I only lost some time when driving behind Carlos Sousa for several kilometres as there just wasn´t a chance of passing him, on the narrow roads. We made some suspension modifications for the second heat and afterwards, my Race Touareg ran even better. This move certainly was a key factor for the success."

With its muddy sections and deep puddles of water, the second leg of the Central Europe Rally represented a true challenge for the teams. The leg with its two special stages over a total distance of 112 kilometres was held on narrow tracks and took the competitors from Baia Mare to the Carpathian Mountains. On Tuesday, the teams will have to cope with another two special stages featuring a distance of 152 kilometres, with Hungary´s city of Debreczin representing the leg finish.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director): "We are delighted with Dieter Depping having secured his maiden leg win in his first competition he is contesting at the wheel of the Race Touareg. Today´s leg turned out to be a true thriller and the difficult special stages provided numerous challenges. Our cars again proved to be extremely competitive. The entire team is doing an extraordinary job."

Carlos Sainz (E): "Altogether, a truly challenging day for us. The special stages were extremely muddy and slippery and we were the ones who had to go out first, in both cases - what didn´t turn out to be a true advantage. Still, all things considered I´m really happy with what we achieved as we didn´t lose much time and are close behind the leaders. After all, there are a lot of special-stage kilometres to be covered that will offer us the chance of battling for the overall win."

Giniel de Villiers (RSA): "Today, a minor technical problem made a major impact on our effort. Our Race Touareg runs just perfectly and features an optimum set-up, however, the windscreen wiper didn´t work on the first section of the day. Consequently, we didn´t see anything. We even had to stop twice to clean the windscreen. In consideration of this fact, the five minutes we lost aren´t that much. The rally is far from being over and there will be many opportunities to make up for the lost ground."

Carlos Sousa (P): "I´m really happy with my Race Touareg but this doesn´t apply to my own performance. The special stage was tough for everybody, provided limited vision and featured extremely rough sections. I wasn´t really sure where to push and where to take it easy. Still, I´m satisfied with our position in the overall standings, nevertheless."

2008/04/21 | 20:05 CET | Editor: MR/HS/ASO

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