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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









Dakar 2009: Volkswagen continues to lead with Carlos Sainz.




Volkswagen continues to hold its ground after the third leg of the Dakar Rally, with Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F) remaining at the top of the leader board. With some controlled driving, the Spanish-French duo was able to increase the lead it established yesterday in its Race Touareg by more than a minute to 3.40 minutes on the 694-kilometre leg westwards from Puerto Madryn to Jacobacci in Argentina.

The second fastest time behind the day’s winners Nasser Al-Attiyah/Tina Thörner (Q/S) in a BMW X-raid was enough for Sainz to maintain his lead. The third leg presented the participants with speedy stretches and with winding - and therefore also demanding - sections. With some rocky ground to cover, they had to reduce the risk of tyre blowouts in order not to forfeit valuable time.

The third best time of the leg was likewise secured by Volkswagen, with Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk (D/D) coming in 1.05 minutes behind their teammates. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) achieved fourth position in another Race Touareg on the second longest special stage of the rally, measuring 551 kilometres. The pair fell one place in the overall rankings, to third place. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) were ranked sixth in leg 3, meaning that all four Race Touareg were in the top six. Overall, Miller/Pitchford have now moved up one position, to sixth place.

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director): "We´ve defended our overall lead and claimed three of the top four positions on this leg - so once again, we can be happy with this result. On the third day of driving, everything is still going according to schedule. I´m particularly delighted that Dieter Depping came third today, as he got off to an unlucky start on the first day. He managed to recoup some lost ground yesterday and today he has demonstrated that he is still very much in the race. All in all, we are very happy. But we also know that there´s a long way to go yet."

Carlos Sainz (E): "Having won yesterday´s leg, we started out in front today, which isn´t always easy. And today´s route was more varied and more demanding than on the first two days. With its winding sections, the middle part of today´s route in particular was a lot more interesting than the previous legs. There were rocks all along the route so we tried to avoid getting any flat tyres."

Giniel de Villiers (ZA): "We started off by not taking any unnecessary risks today. Today´s leg included an interesting 200-kilometre stretch that was very bendy and therefore very demanding for the driver. We are still near the top of the leader board - and that was our aim. Today was only the third day and there are still another eleven demanding legs to come."

Dieter Depping (D): "Today´s leg was very good to me. Much of it was like a classic sprint rally - and that´s something I´m good at. On top of that, I really felt good again in the Race Touareg today, and the chassis tuning was just right. We´re slowly getting into the swing of things on this rally. Looking ahead, anything´s possible still. We intend to improve our performance step by step."

Mark Miller (USA): "Today was fairly uneventful for me, and that´s a good thing. We planned to play it safe today but to keep the top of the leader board within reach, and I think we achieved that. At one point, a BMW X-raid overtook us. We thought that trying to keep up with it was too risky, and instead, we decided to set our own pace up to the finishing line to avoid any flat tyres."

2009/01/05 | 23:28 CET | Editor: MR/HS/U.Baldes






















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