After a successful beginning in Argentina, Volkswagen has proved the qualities of the Race Touareg on the first Chilean leg of the 2010 Dakar Rally as well. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk achieved third place at the demanding crossing of the Andes on the fourth leg from Fiambalá to Copiapó with a gap of 2m 26s behind the stage winners Robby Gordon/Andy Grider in the Hummer and Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret from the X-raid team.
In the following places, Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz, Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford in the Race Touareg with TDI power, completed Volkswagen’s successful stage. Maurício Neves/Clécio Maestrelli reached the stage destination for Volkswagen in tenth place. At an average speed of 95.15 km/h, Al-Attiyah as the best Volkswagen driver was clearly faster than on the previous day’s stage, which featured lots of dunes and was run at a speed that, on average, was about 35 km/h slower.
After four of the 14 stages Stéphane Peterhansel continues ranking in front of the Volkswagen trio Carlos Sainz, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mark Miller while Maurício Neves is in tenth place overall. After achieving a fifth-place finish today, last year’s winners Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz, who had dropped back the day before due to electrical damage – as a result of an accident – came back with a top position in the Race Touareg.
In view of the high level of difficulty of yesterday’s stage and the fact that various participants had not even arrived at the previous leg’s finish during the night the organiser decided to shorten today’s stage. As a result, the fourth special stage only encompassed the first 163 of the planned 203 kilometres.
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