Dakar Rally, Stage 3, 5 January 2009
Volkswagen continues to hold its ground after the third stage of the Dakar Rally, with Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F) remaining at the top of the leader board.
The Spanish-French duo in a Race Touareg was able to increase the lead it established yesterday by more than a minute to 3.40 minutes on the 694-kilometre leg from Puerto Madryn to Jacobacci in Argentina. The second fastest time behind the stage winner Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) in an X-raid BMW was enough for Sainz to maintain his lead.
The third best time of the stage was likewise secured by Volkswagen, with Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk (D/D) coming in 1.05 minutes behind their teammates. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) achieved fourth position in another Race Touareg on the second longest special stage of the rally, measuring 551 kilometres. The pair fell one place in the overall rankings, to third place. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) were ranked sixth in stage 3, meaning that all four Race Touareg were in the top six. Overall, Miller/Pitchford have now moved up one position, to sixth place.