On the second stage of the Dakar Rally, the Volkswagen works drivers Jutta Kleinschmidt/Fabrizia Pons and Bruno Saby/Matthew Stevenson in their Race-Touareg cars had to tackle an extremely tight course close to Narbonne. The 25 kilometre long special stage in southern France with its unusually tight corners and hairpins forced the drivers to reverse on numerous occasions. On this stage, won by a two-wheel drive buggy, which was not at all suitable for four-wheel driven vehicles Bruno Saby came home in eighteenth position and Jutta Kleinschmidt finished 30th. The teams, who will cross the French-Spanish border today, will complete a total of 563 kilometres before seeing the leg finish in Castellón.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director):
“I watched the stage directly from the track. The Race-Touareg has very well balanced handling. The fact that both drivers lost so much time today on such a tight course is very unfortunate. It doesn’t reflect the capabilities of both the drivers and the cars. However, technically and organisationally everything is running perfectly according to the plan.”
Bruno Saby (#224):
“The Race-Touareg is running absolutely perfectly. Unfortunately, we always had to reverse in the hairpins, which cost a lot of time. The final competitive section in Europe is held on Saturday, then finally the African stages start.”
Jutta Kleinschmidt (#204):
“The European sections of the Dakar Rally are indeed of interest for the spectators, but are sometimes however a little ungrateful for us drivers. The track was so tight that even reversing wasn’t easy. Our stages are still to come.”
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