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Morocco Rally: Volkswagen duel in Morocco, Sainz in front by 8 seconds

With just one day left to go in this « Guy Hoquet 2007 Morocco Rally » the possibilities are open in the car category. Winner today, Carlos Sainz, has caught up the four minutes he trailed Giniel de Villiers and moved back in front by eight seconds! On the bikes, Ruben Faria has, on the other hand, the situation under control.

Being 546 km long between Zagora and Ouarzazate, the day’s stage was a hard struggle. The special of 344 km, started with rapid and sandy tracks before finishing on narrow mountain tracks. The quickest on the bikes was Ruben Faria, the actual leader overall, followed by the Russian Alexy Kolomytsin. As for Christophe Meillat, his gearbox broke losing him an hour, as well as a place overall.

« Great Carlos Sainz », exclaims his co-driver Michel Périn at the finish. The Spaniard was on full attack and his team mate Giniel de Villiers in his target sights. De Villiers sadly had some problems (a puncture and some problems with the power steering), that when he got out of his car at the finish he was extenuated. Only eight seconds separates these two VW drivers, before the last hurdle of 222 km…

For the third place podium, Nasser Al Attiyah and Carlos Sousa are still fighting with less than six minutes separating the two men. If Sousa had a faultless day, Al Attiyah lost seven minutes with two punctures.

In the two wheel drive Buggies, Dominique Housieaux can be assured of the second place with Korminicki at more than an hour and a half behind.

What they said ?

Ruben Faria (leader bikes): «It was another problem day. I got lost and my front wheel broke, it was hard going in the mountains. Tomorrow I’m going to take it easy and follow the road book attentively.»

Carlos Sainz (winner today-first place overall): «Tomorrow is the last special. We start in front, but it won’t be easy, but we will go all out and what ever happens shan’t be sad. What is important is that the cars have worked well.»

Giniel de Villiers (second overall): «First we had a slow puncture, then at 150 km from the finish the power steering stopped working. Just before the mountains, so that was really hard going. As for what will happen next, we will see tomorrow.»

Nasser Al Attiyah (Third overall): «Two punctures cost us seven minutes to Sousa. Tomorrow, we are just going to try and keep our third place.»

Guerlain Chicherit (Seventh today): «Somebody has got in for me. Now that the car goes well we get two punctures. And the worst still, was that our hydraulics wasn’t connected and the manual jack had lost its oil. So, we lost more than ten minutes every time we had to change a wheel.»

Dominique Housieaux (Sixth overall): «A first class stage. But the goat tracks in the mountains were a little bit on the narrow side for our Buggies.»

2007/09/30 | 12:17 CET | Editor: MR/NPO/Rita Konya

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