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Volkswagen factory driver Carlos Sainz (Spain) and co-driver Michel Périn (France) have won the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup 2007.* The factory pairing in the Volkswagen Race Touareg secured the title by finishing the UAE Desert Challenge with start and finish in Dubai as the runner-up.

In addition, Volkswagen Motorsport achieved the title win in the team classification. While the two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz won the highest-calibre championship in cross-country rally sport for the first time, for his co-driver Michel Périn – after 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 2005 – this marks the sixth FIA title in the co-drivers classification.

On the last, 268-kilometre leg of the season’s finale in the Middle East, the second Volkswagen factory duo, Giniel de Villiers (South Africa) and Dirk von Zitzewitz (Germany), clinched a stage victory to finish third overall. In the World Cup they finished the season as the runner-up, behind their team-mates Sainz/Périn.
Volkswagen factory driver Carlos Sainz, who had come to the United Arab Emirates as the leader of the standings, had been running in front some of the time during the UAE Desert Challenge’s fourth of five legs, but then lost 18 minutes after getting stuck in the sand. On the final stage, he claimed a third-place finish.
The title win crowns a successful season for Volkswagen Motorsport: at the Transibérico Rally Carlos Sainz together with Michel Périn celebrated his first victory in cross-country rally sport. At their second World Cup event of the season in Morocco the Volkswagen factory team achieved a double victory by Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz and Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn in September. For the Race Touareg powered by a 280-hp 2.5-litre TDI diesel engine, the title in the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup already marks the second win of a championship after Bruno Saby and Michel Périn’s exploit in 2005. The prototpye’s tally since 2004 now shows seven overall victories, 61 stage wins and 54 days of leading an event in a total of 20 competitions.

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