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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Silk Way Rally: 100th stage victory for Volkswagen Touareg.

The second leg took the teams from Kazan, the capital of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, along the "new" Silk Road across 478 kilometres to Bougourouslan. The motorway connection between Eastern Europe and Asia, which is currently under construction, formed part of the special stage.

Jubilee success along the Silk Road: Volkswagen factory driver Nasser Al-Attiyah and his co-driver Timo Gottschalk clinched their first stage victory on the second leg of the Silk Way Rally and took the overall lead. Their exploit marks the 100th stage win of the Race Touareg powered by a TDI engine which has participated in 26 competitions since its debut in 2004, winning every second stage and clinching eleven overall wins in the process.

"Of course I´m really happy about our stage win. The leg strongly resembled a World Rally Championship round as we were mostly running on paved roads and gravel stretches" said Al Attiyah after the Stage. "Our reward for today is being allowed to open the course on tomorrow´s leg - that´s why we´ll continue to act with due caution."

Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz, Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford and Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz in places two, three and four completed Volkswagen’s 1-2-3-4 win of today’s leg. "The route leads alongside and across the construction site of the new motorway" said Sainz. "Long, quick sections on the gravel bed alternated with many branch-offs in the surrounding fields. After passing Giniel we had to open the leg - this was not an easy feat but, on the whole, it was good in order to find our rhythm."

Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director): "With four Race Touareg vehicles in the top four places, we handled the first longer leg of the Silk Way Rally in an optimal manner. Among other things, there were three different factors which enabled the Race Touareg´s 100th stage win as well as its historic Dakar victory in January: innovative TDI technology, top-class drivers and co-drivers as well as outstanding engineers and mechanics."

Giniel de Villiers: "Right at the start of the special stage we hit the ground hard in a dip and afterwards we experienced some slight misfiring and no longer had full engine power. Shortly after that, we missed a branch-off and Carlos was able to pass us. The rally is still long and anything´s possible even though we did lose a little more time than we´d have liked to."

Mark Miller: "For my co-driver Ralph and me the crucial thing in the beginning was to get used to working together again. The leg featured more tasks for the navigator than for the drivers because two or three branch-offs were difficult to identify. In terms of driving, it was a moderate challenge as we were often running straight ahead at high speed."

Standings after Leg 02, Kazan (RUS) - Bougouruslan (RUS)

01) Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk (Q/D) I VW Race Touareg I 01:10:15
02) Sainz/Cruz (E/E) I VW Race Touareg I 01:13:08
03) Miller/Pitchford (USA/ZA) I VW Race Touareg I 01:14:35
04) De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) I VW Race Touareg I 01:17:00
05) Lavieille/Polato (F/F) I Nissan Navara I 01:19:34
06) Berkut/Meshcheryakov (RUS/RUS) I Mitsubishi Evo I 01:19:59
07) Errandonea/Garcin (F/F) I SMG Gache Buggy I 01:20:18
08) Kahle/Schuenemann (D/D) I Honda Buggy I 01:21:30
09) Biryukov/Kniga (RUS/BY) I Mitsubishi Pajero I 01:26:54
10) Misikov/Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS) I Nissan Navara I 01:27:20

2009/08/11 | 16:50 CET | Editor: MR/HS/S.Moser

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