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Optic Tunisia: 3rd place as Birthday present for Carlos Sainz.

Volkswagen works drivers Carlos Sainz and Giniel de Villiers finished the Tunisian Rally’s second stage in fourth and fifth positions on the day. The day’s route ran along a 327 kilometre loop around the desert oasis Nekrif close to the Libyan border.

After two of the seven stages, Carlos Sainz, who celebrated his 44th birthday on Wednesday, holds third place in his VW Race Touareg 2 behind Mitsubishi driver Stéphane Peterhansel and stage winner Jean-Louis Schlesser (Schlesser-Ford). "We had a good day, our Touareg ran perfectly" said the Spaniard. "We were quick, but didn’t take any big risks. It goes without saying that I would have liked to have won the stage on my birthday, however it wasn’t quite enough."

South African driver Giniel de Villiers and his German Co Dirk von Zitzewitz are fifth overall in the second Race Touareg after the second leg. "We made a lot of pressure at the start of the stage and got past Hiroshi Masuoka when he had to replace a tyre" said De Villiers in the Bivouac. "We were very careful on the stony middle section, since we didn’t want to risk having a tyre failure. We lost several minutes to our rivals, but the tough stages are still to come."

But instead the good positions Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen is quiet unhappy with the today´s result: "Both cars ran perfectly from the technical point of view, both drivers lost some time in the middle sector through the stones because they didn’t push to the limit. The result isn’t satisfying. We are currently 0.2 to 0.3 seconds per kilometre slower than Mitsubishi; we have to find a solution." As Nissen told yesterday, the big goal for Volkswagen is to win the 2006 Edition of the Optic Tunisia Rally.

2006/04/08 I 19:23 CET I Editor:

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