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Dakar 2009: Volkswagen maintains triple lead.

On the ninth leg Volkswagen celebrated its seventh stage victory at the 2009 Dakar Rally, continuing to run in front overall with stage winners Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F), ahead of two further Race Touareg vehicles.

On the demanding leg from La Serena to Copiapó in Chile, for a long time it looked like Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) in the Race Touareg would be the stage winners but a tyre change just before the finish cost them about five minutes. Nevertheless, the American/South African duo managed to make up one position in the overall standings. Miller/Pitchford have taken over second place form their team colleagues Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D), who lost 12.01 minutes on the ninth competition day.

Carlos Sainz, who had been leading the cross-country classic for three days from the second leg onwards and then briefly dropped, has been running in front in the overall classification again since last Friday. His advantage to Miller after five stage victories now amounts to almost 20 minutes. De Villiers/von Zitzewitz follow with a three-minute gap. Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk (D/D) in another Volkswagen lost 43 minutes in the starting phase of the leg.

2009/01/12 | 20:32 CET | Editor: MR/HS/U.Baldes

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