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Rally dos Sertoes: Volkswagen driver Carlos Sainz takes lead in Brazil.

The Volkswagen factory duo Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz Senra (E/E) took the lead on the second day of the Rallye dos Sertões in front of their team-mates Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D). On the demanding route between Santa Helena de Goiás and Cidade de Goiás, which put drivers and co-drivers to the test with many changes in rhythm, tricky branch-offs and a mix of trial-like and quick gravel sections, Sainz/Cruz Senra beat the newly formed pairing Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk who had opened the special stage as the previous day’s winners.

For the third crew of the factory prepared and factory fielded Race Touareg vehicles the day was marked by misfortune: Maurício Neves/Eduardo Bampi (BR/BR) damaged their front suspension in an evasive manoeuvre on a bridge and lost a lot of time in the process. The Brazilian duo will continue the rally on the third leg.

"The second leg of the Rallye dos Sertões was a tricky one. Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk opened a leg for the first time and coordinated their actions in the competition in extremely difficult conditions. With a stage win they – as well as Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz Senra - showed how well balanced these new teams are acting,” said Kris Nissen, director of Volkswagen Motorsport.

"Today’s stage really had everything that is typical of a cross-country rally. Trial-like sections, many changes in rhythm and branch-offs that made navigating a demanding task. For us, this was truly an acid test which we successfully passed as a team and the Race Touareg, as well, was up to par in all conditions,” said Carlos Sainz.

"Today, my co-driver Timo Gottschalk and I primarily focused on coordinating our actions as best we could for this challenge. Opening the stage is never an easy task. I think we handled it well, even though we misjudged two branch-offs which cost us some time,” said Nasser Al-Attiyah.

"On a narrow bridge that consisted only of a few boards, a motorcycle rider was stuck in a gap on the right-hand side. The only chance we had was to pass him on the left. Unfortunately, we got too far to the left and damaged our rear suspension in the process,” said Maurício Neves.

2009/06/29 | 12:58 CET | Editor: MR/Volkswagen/Rita Konya

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