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Four days before the finish at Dakar (Senegal) the two Volkswagen Race-Touareg cars continue to be in good shape. On day 13 of the Dakar Rally works driver Jutta Kleinschmidt and co-driver Fabrizia Pons mastered another difficult leg superbly. Clinching position five in this stage, the 2001 Dakar winner continued her series of good stage results: From the eighth leg on, the physicist who grew up in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, has finished each stage among the top six. Teammate Bruno Saby and co-driver Matthew Stevenson finished 18th, thus defending their seventh place in the overall standings.
The 478-kilometre leg from Bamako (Mali) to Ayoûn El Atroûs (Mauritania) started with a very narrow and thus treacherous stretch lined with numerous trees on both sides of the track, followed by a section that put the co-drivers’ orientation skills to the ultimate test. As nearly all of the teams committed navigation errors, the two Volkswagen works drivers were not spared from this type of mishap either. During the next two stages in Mauritania the Volkswagen Race-Touareg will have to again prove its worth in a marathon leg permitting merely limited service on Thursday evening.
Kris Nissen (Volkswagen Motorsport Director)
“Again, we’re very satisfied with the results. Both cars were running flawlessly and will now be serviced in a sort of major service in preparation for the marathon leg. The team’s spirit is excellent and the working mode leaves nothing to be desired.”
Bruno Saby (#224)
“The Race-Touareg was running perfectly, even grass picked up inside the air intakes did not cause any problems. Navigation, on the other hand, was extremely difficult. Unfortunately, this made us lose a little more time than some of the other teams “
Jutta Kleinschmidt (#204)
“This has been another good day for us, though a tough one. At the beginning, the course was very narrow, with trees on the left and right. Quite a few mirrors were knocked off, and on our car as well. After that, navigation was the name of the game, and I suppose everyone made mistakes, ourselves included.”
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