Spaniard Carlos Sainz clinched Volkswagen’s fourth stage victory on day five of the Dakar Rally and extended his overall lead in the progress.
Together with co-driver Michel Périn in the Race Touareg 2, the factory driver won today’s fifth stage from Ouarzazate to Tan Tan in Morocco by 30 seconds from Mitsubishi driver Stephane Peterhansel and Volkswagen team mates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz, who finished the stage 1:41 minutes behind in third position.
Three Volkswagen Race Touareg prototypes continue to lead the field with one-third of the Dakar Rally already run: Sainz/Périn, who tasted victory on the second stage, hold the overall lead from de Villiers/von Zitzewitz by 3:36 minutes. The Portuguese Carlos Sousa and his German co-driver Andy Schulz, seventh today in the Lagos Team Race Touareg, are 11:17 behind in third place.
Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/South Africa) and Ari Vatanen/Fabrizia Pons (Finland/Italy) in two other Race Touareg prototypes finished the fifth stage in positions eighth and fourteenth respectively. The teams must complete a 279 kilometre liaison stage before reaching the stage finish area this evening.