Sainz wins yet another stage in Dakar

Another stage victory for Volkswagen in the Dakar Rally: After yesterday’s exploit Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (Spain/France) also won the 13th of 15 legs of the desert classic, a 458-kilometre section from Kayes in Mali to Tambacounda in Senegal. For Sainz, it marked as much as his fourth stage victory, for Volkswagen the eighth in the 29th Dakar Rally.

The Spanish-French driver pairing in the Race Touareg was 26 seconds quicker than the French Mitsubishi driver Stéphane Peterhansel, who leads in the overall classification.

Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/South Africa) in another Race Touareg set the day’s third-best time with a 2.18-minute gap on the quick and dusty laterite tracks, defending their place as Volkswagen’s best team in the field in fifth position overall. Two positions behind them is the Portuguese-German duo of Carlos Sousa/Andreas Schulz in a Race Touareg from Team Lagos who achieved the fourth-best time of the day.

Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (South Africa/Germany) with a 10.37-minute gap finished the special stage on Friday in tenth place. They contested the special stage as the 22nd car out and in the dust kicked up by the cars starting in front of them almost had no opportunities for overtaking. Despite this, the duo improved by one position to eleventh place overall.

Standings after leg 13, Kayes (ML) – Tambacounda (SN); 260/458 km stage 12/total

Pos.; Team; Vehicle; Leg 13; Total time
1. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-P. Cottret (F/F); Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 2h30m48s (2nd); 43h13m22s
2. Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (F/F); Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 2h35m34s (6th) + 11m15s
3. Jean-Louis Schlesser/Arnaud Debron (F/F); Schlesser Buggy; 2h35m33s (5th) + 1h38m47s
4. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Alain Guehennec (QT/F); BMW X3; 2h42m29s (10th) + 2h09m45s
5. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/RSA); Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 2h32m40s (3rd) + 2h17m47s
6. Hiroshi Masuoka/Pascal Maimon (J/F); Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution; 2h46m07s (15th) + 2h42m29s
7. Carlos Sousa/Andreas Schulz (P/D); Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 2h35m25s (4th) + 5h20m58s
8. Robby Gordon/Andy Grider (USA/USA); Hummer H3; 2h41m09s (11th) + 7h13m18s
9. Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F); Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 2h30m22s (1st) + 7h37m14s
10. Stéphane Henrard/Brigitte Becue (B/B); Buggy Volkswagen; 2h51m37s (21st) + 8h12m28s
11. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (RSA/D); Volkswagen Race Touareg 2; 2h40m59s (10th) + 8h55m58s

Coming up…

Saturday, 20 January, Tambacounda (SN) – Dakar (SN): 225 km stage/576 km overall. The last long special stage of the Dakar Rally before reaching Dakar is a tricky one: The dirt roads in Senegal which are partially windy and partially very quick require perfect navigation. In the afternoon, the contenders will arrive in the Senegalese capital of Dakar where numerous friends and family members are awaiting them.

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