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Transiberico: Volkswagen finishes third and sixth in prologue.

After the seven-kilometre prologue, which started the Rally Transibérico, Volkswagen is in third and sixth place. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz in the Race Touareg 2 drove the third-fastest time on the dusty special stage. The German Matthias Kahle, who is celebrating his Volkswagen Race Tourareg debut in the third round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup in Portugal and Spain, finished sixth - with co-driver Andreas Schulz - in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans in bright sunny weather. The Rally Transibérico will continue on Saturday with the longest of its legs. On the drive from Estoril to Évora, the competitors will complete two special stage loops of 258 kilometres each.

"It was a short but very demanding special stage to warm up on" said Giniel de Villiers. "It led across a very narrow distance through the woods, was very tight, dusty and slippery. Of course I didn’t risk everything there. Unfortunately, I’m still affected by a severe cold that’s getting better now, but hope that I’ll be really fit again on Saturday."

The German Matthias Kahle told: "I’m happy about my first rally in the Race Touareg. I’m really making great progress getting familiar with the car and my co-driver Andreas Schulz. I’m eager to see how the Race Touareg will handle on Saturday on the first long leg - after all, it’s my debut in a diesel-powered four-wheel drive vehicle in a cross country rally."

"Our two drivers clinched good starting positions for the next stage" added Motorsport-Director Kris Nissen. "In a rally it’s not an advantage to open up the stage, so we’ll be going into this leg as the third and sixth cars on Saturday. Competing for first place on the narrow stretches of the prologue would have been possible only by taking a great risk - but on the first seven kilometres you can’t win a rally, if anything, you may lose it."

2006/05/14 I 21:10 CET I Editor:

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