Stage 8 ended a bit ago and Volkswagen has once again showed its strengths! A full race report will be up shortly.
Volkswagen started the second week of the Dakar Rally exactly the way the first half on Friday before the rest day had ended: by securing a triple stage victory and maintaining its previous one-two-three lead.
The day’s best result was clinched yet again by Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F), who scored a fourth stage victory in the Race Touareg, thus further extending his overall lead.
On the eighth leg from Valparaíso to La Serena in Chile the German Volkswagen duo Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk reached the destination in second position with a 4.02-minute gap to Sainz/Périn; they were followed in third place ten seconds later by Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) in the third of the blue Race Touareg vehicles.
In fifth place, Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) finished the day’s special stage across partially narrow gravel stretches but lost 10.48 minutes to Sainz on the 652-kilometre leg. In the overall classification Villiers is now trailing his Spanish team-mate by 10.57 minutes, while Miller continues ranking in third place with an 18.05-minute gap.
Volkswagen’s best immediate rival, Mitsubishi driver Nani Roma, in fourth place overall dropped by a further 4.15 minutes to a 33.31-minute gap to Sainz.