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Rallye dos Sertoes: Thrilling duel for overall “Sertoes" victory

The Volkswagen duos Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D) as well as Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz Senra (E/E) continue fighting for overall victory at the Rallye dos Sertões, with gaps of just a few minutes between them. On the seventh leg of the cross-country rally through Brazil Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk clinched their fifth stage win and took the lead again in the interim standings in front of their team-mates Sainz/Cruz Senra.

The 548-kilometre stage between Barra and Petrolina again took the three factory prepared Race Touareg vehicles across narrow trails with deep, soft sand and put the drivers and co-drivers as well as the material to the test. The third Volkswagen duo Maurício Neves/Eduardo Bampi (BR/BR) lost several minutes due to a navigation error but still improved to seventh position overall.

"We can be very happy with the way the rally has gone so far. The drivers and the team are doing an outstanding job. It comes as no surprise to me that we’re running in the top two positions – after all, we’ve got powerful and reliable cars. But these types of rallies make maximum demands on man and material and are a good way to prepare for the Dakar Rally,” said Kris Nissen, director of Volkswagen Motorsport.

"Another extremely tough day – also for the material. Today in particular it was no advantage having to open the course as the stage winner of the previous day. We not only had to be the first to find the way but also had to stop several times to clean the radiator that was clogged by leaves because the engine temperature was rising repeatedly,” said Carlos Sainz.

"Again it was a positive day for us. The ‘Sertões’ displayed a completely different character today than it did the days before because we had to drive through deep sections of sand. I’m happy about having decided this leg in my favour and taken the lead again, and I’m even more pleased about the fact that the teamwork between Timo Gottschalk and me is getting increasingly better,” said Nasser Al-Attiyah.

"It’s incredible how well the Race Touareg works on sand. That really impressed me a lot today. Unfortunately, we made a few mistakes on the marathon leg we covered during the past two days which cost us a lot of time,” said Maurício Neves.

2009/07/01 | 01:10 CET | Editor: MR/Volkswagen/Rita Konya

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