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Transiberico: Volkswagen´s Giniel de Villiers holds second in Portugal.

"Both Race Touareg prototypes ran perfectly, and the new Sachs suspension appears to be working extremely well. This is the first complete rally on slow and twisty rally sections for us. We’ll get together with the drivers and engineers this evening and improve the entire package even further to enable us to attack tomorrow" said Volkswagen Motorsport-Director Kris Nissen about the 2. leg.

After the second and longest stage of the Rally Transiberico, Volkswagen works driver Giniel de Villiers and his co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz held second position overall only nine seconds behind Nani Roma (Mitsubishi). The South African-German duo was fastest in their Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 through the 258 kilometre special stage and provisionally held the lead. Giniel de Villiers was narrowly beaten by Roma in the second run on the same track. The six-time German Rally Champion Matthias Kahle, who is making his debut in the Volkswagen factory team, finished the stage in fourth position behind Dakar winner Luc Alphand (Mitsubishi). The third stage of the Rally Transiberico on Sunday runs across the border to Spain, where two stages of 155 kilometres in length will be held.

"This very tough stage along tight and twisty tracks was also the longest of the entire rally" said Giniel de Villiers. "We had to overtake several Quads during the first run but had a clear road afterwards and were able to set the fastest time. Our Race Touareg ran without problems" added the South African driver.

And the new German work-driver Matthias Kahle said: "I’m satisfied with my first proper long Cross Country stage in the Race Touareg. At the start of the day I had to get used to the size of my car on the very narrow tracks between the boulders and trees at the start of the day. The second loop went excellently for me; compared with the first run I was able to improve my time significantly."

2006/05/15 I 00:14 CET I Editor:

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