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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 drivers increase pressure at CER.

In the Central Europe Rally, held in Hungary and Romania, Volkswagen remains in a promising position when it comes to securing the overall win: on the leg from Debrecen to Veszprem, Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F) gave Volkswagen the fourth consecutive leg win, thus working their way up to fifth position in the overall rankings.

The 2007 overall FIA Cross Country World Cup winners now lie some four minutes behind in the overall rankings, thus keeping their chance of winning the event alive. At the same time, their team-mates, Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (RSA/D) and Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk (D/D) also reduced their gaps to the overall leader, Stéphane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi), by finishing third and fourth respectively. With three more days to go to the finish at Lake Balaton, they now hold second and third positions in the overall rankings and increased the pressure.

Being yesterday´s leg winners, Giniel de Villiers and his co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz were the first to start into the two difficult special stages of the day. Special stages that featured challenging navigation and narrow sections, thus taking the competitors to their very limits. Despite this handicap, the South African-German pairing succeeded in reducing their gap to the leader by about two and a half minutes.

The battle for the lead remains exciting: Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk (D/D) reduced their gap to the leader once again. By holding third position in their first competition with the Volkswagen Race Touareg, they still are on a promising way to securing a podium finish. Carlos Sousa/Andreas Schulz (P/D) in the Race Touareg of customer team Lagos lost some time due to a navigation mistake but defended their ninth position in the overall ranking, nevertheless.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director): "Today, we may be really happy with what we have achieved. We reduced the gap to the leader and with Giniel de Villiers, Dieter Depping and Carlos Sainz, our chances of winning the event continue to be promising. Both drivers and co-drivers did a truly excellent job in today´s difficult leg. The Race Touaregs had no technical problems whatsoever, today. A very good day for Volkswagen, in this rally."

Carlos Sainz (E): "With today´s leg win we made up for a lot of the lost ground but actually, it could have been even more. For a short moment, my co-driver Michel Périn and I misunderstood each other, hence, we took a wrong turn and lost about a minute. Still: being just four minutes behind, everything is possible for us in this rally."

Giniel de Villiers (RSA): "A truly difficult leg but I´m more than happy with our result. The navigation was demanding as the road book wasn´t always precise, today. Opening the track never is easy, therefore, we may be proud of what we´ve achieved today. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, we will have to contest two long and difficult legs and we want to use this opportunity to keep on closing the gap. Today we leaped up to second position and before the event will be over, on Saturday, we want to gain this final place, too."

Carlos Sousa (P): "Our start into the day was really good. We made some suspension changes, resulting in an even better handling. But we suffered another dose of bad luck, today. We took a wrong turn and afterwards, it took us quite a lot of time to find back to the right track."

Dieter Depping (D): "Today, the navigation was really difficult. We lost our way once, thus losing two minutes. But thanks to the competitive Race Touareg, we could make up for some time despite our mistake. Particularly in the first special stage, everything worked perfectly: driver, co-driver and car."

2008/04/22 | 17:01 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Volkswagen

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