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Rally dos Sertoes: One-two-three exploit for Volkswagen in Brazil.

The first leg of the Rallye dos Sertões in Brazil ended with places one to three for Volkswagen. The newly formed factory duo Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D) celebrated a stage win straight in its first rally run. Second place went to Maurício Neves/Eduardo Bampi (BR/BR) ahead of Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz Senra (E/E).

The 256-kilometre special stage from Goiânia to Santa Helena de Goiás took the contenders across numerous hilltops, quick gravel stretches and narrow passages through cattle gates, and required a precise driving style and navigation with pinpoint accuracy of the crews in the three factory prepared and factory fielded Race Touareg vehicles. On Thursday, 469 kilometres from Santa Helena de Goiás to Cidade de Goiás are on the agenda.

“By clinching his first stage win in the Race Touareg, Nasser Al-Attiyah immediately showed why we signed him at Volkswagen. The result also demonstrates that he is already working in harmony with his co-driver Timo Gottschalk. Maurício Neves and Eduardo Bampi have perfectly integrated themselves into the team as well,” said Volkswagen Motorsport director Kris Nissen.

“On the first leg it took us some time to get into the right rhythm. By the end of the special stage, though, we had become more accustomed to the highly detailed and in some respects unusual roadbook. Unfortunately, by that time, we had lost five or six minutes at the beginning of the stage due to a navigation mistake,” said Carlos Sainz.

“Our first leg in the Race Touareg – and we’ve already got a lot of things to report. My codriver
Timo Gottschalk and I found a good rhythm from the outset although we started in tenth place and had to overtake about six cars. Of course starting out with a stage victory is a great thing. Unfortunately, we tipped the car onto its side during the spectators stage. But it’s not hardly damaged,” said Nasser Al-Attiyah.

“My first leg in the Race Touareg was simply incredible. I’ve been particularly impressed with the power of the TDI engine that develops seemingly infinite power in any situation. Together with the excellent suspension and direct feedback this was like entering a whole new world. And finishing in second place was the icing on the cake,” said Maurício Neves.

2009/06/29 | 11:59 CET | Editor: MR/Volkswagen/Rita Konya

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