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Silk Way Rally: Volkswagen drivers still fight for the lead.

The duel for the top continues: By winning the sixth leg of the Silk Way Rally Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz Senra reduced their gap to team-mates Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk by more than three minutes and are thus keeping the fight for overall victory open.

Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford occupied third place, followed by Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz in the fourth Race Touareg powered by a TDI engine.

The leg from Janaozen (Kazahkstan) to Turkmenbashi (Turkmenistan) ocvering a total of 698 kilometres was the second-longest but also the most difficult stage of the rally so far. Quick tracks in the dust alternated with mountainous, stony sections.

Navigating difficulties and punctures suffered by Sainz, Al-Attiyah and Miller caused the our Race Touareg vehicles that had started within nine minutes of each other to meet several times during the course of the leg, the teams fought a close head-to-head race.
Kris Nissen: "Today showed that our drivers and co-drivers are taking the fight for victory at the Silk Way Rally very seriously and that they’re fully motivated. The rally offers a good opportunity to prepare for the Dakar Rally from several perspectives: The driver pairings feel the competitive pressure, the technology of the four Race Touareg vehicles is being tested in racing conditions, and the engineers and mechanics practice all processes very carefully as well. Last night, for example, we completed a so-called "major service” which actually is scheduled only during the ‘real’ Dakar.” 
Giniel de Villiers: "The track today was both quick and tricky. The navigation is difficult since many similar branch-offs follow each other. Always finding exactly the right one is almost impossible. In terms of pace we played it safe while our team colleagues obviously were closer to the limit.”
Carlos Sainz: "Of course I’m happy about the stage win but we could have done better. We were the fourth vehicle to start, drove in the dust of our colleagues for a long time and were ultimately able to pass them – without a puncture and a detour we could have achieved the overall lead. Tomorrow we’ll have to open the course which won’t be an easy feat.”

Mark Miller: "That was a definitely a crazy day – at some point in time we were travelling behind and alongside each other with all four Race Touareg vehicles and were fighting for the lead. I caught Carlos and Nasser, chose a parallel track and passed them. At first we had a bit of an advantage after a directional change, but later they overtook us again.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah: "I’m definitely happy with second place today; we’re continuing to lead the overall standings. Today, things were very fast and tight but that’s exactly what a rally is all about. Unfortunately, we had the third puncture in a row today and I’m hoping that this will have been our last one. Our Race Touareg continues running without any problems.”

Standings Cars after Leg 06, Janaozen (KZ) - Turkmenbashi (TM)

01) Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk (Q/D) I VW Race Touareg I 17:18:44
02) Sainz/Cruz Senra (E/E) I VW Race Touareg I 17:21:40
03) Miller/Pitchford (USA/ZA) I VW Race Touareg I 17:33:26
04) De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) I VW Race Touareg I 17:36:00
05) Misikov/Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS) I Nissan Navara I 20:43:49
06) Kuznetsov/Neshin (RUS/RUS) I Mitsubishi L200 I 21:25:05
07) Saukans/Zarnis (LV/LV) I OSC Car I 21:57:41
08) Berkut/Meshcheryakov (RUS/RUS) I Mitsubishi Pajero MPR13 I 22:21:21
09) Vanagas/Jurgenlenas (LT/LT) I OSC Car I 22:25:44
10) Heymann/Segal (ISR/ISR) I Mitsubishi Pajero I 23:13:33

Standings Trucks after Leg 06, Janaozen (KZ) - Turkmenbashi (TM)

01) Kabirov/Mokeev/Tanin (RUS) I Kamaz I 19:56:12
02) De Rooy/Colsoul/Rodewald (NL) I Iveco 4x4 I 20:31:14
03) Mardeev/Pogozhikh/Karginov (RUS) I Kamaz I 21:33:29
04) Loprais/Miskolci/Holan (CZ) I Tatra I 21:34:12
05) Nikolaev/Mizyukaev/Israfilov (RUS) I Kamaz I 22:00:00
06) Chagin/Savostin/Shaysultanov (RUS) I Kamaz I 22:32:32
07) Macik/Kalina/Macik (CZ) I Tatra I 23:16:19
08) De Rooy/Geusens/Van Eerd (NL) I Iveco 4x4 I 23:16:42
09) Mekhtiev/Kozlov/Kupovets (RUS) I MAN I 24:16:29
10) Behringer/Kupper/Schadl (D) I MAN I 26:57:20

2009/09/10 | 15:16 CET | Editor: MR/Volkswagen/Rita Konya

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