Volkswagen first and second overall after stage two
Volkswagen assumed first and second positions overall with Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F) and Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) after they mastered the challenging conditions on the Dakar Rally's second stage. Sainz took victory in the Volkswagen Race Touareg on the dusty stage between Santa Rosa and Puerto Madryn in Argentina. The Spanish-French duo staged a thrilling fight for victory on the day with the Mitsubishi pair of Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (F/F) and won by 1:14 minutes.
Third best time was sufficient for Giniel de Villiers to improve, like his team mate, one position in the overall standings. The South African is now second 2:19 minutes off the lead.
Mitsubishi driver Stéphane Peterhansel moved up to third position overall. Roma and Alphand, fith and sixth respectively. Masuoka, retires after engine problems on the first leg yesterday yesterday. Mitsubishi is now in the group of favourites to lead the Dakar after a short, but fast, second special, between Santa Rosa de la Pampa and the tourist centre of Puerto Madryn, Patagonia. The French pair Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret were the best of the three turbo-charged diesel Racing Lancer painted in the Repsol colours. They finished with a time of 1h 57m 28s, qand this meant that they were second best on the day, behind the winner Carlos Sainz, and at the same time climbed in the overall to third position.
On the third stage the Dakar Rally reveals its tough character. The section through Patagonia requires a completely different driving style than during the previous days in view of the significantly different terrain. The landscape is hillier and drivers with a preference for long corners will be in their element on the way to Jacobacci.