Volkswagen starts perfectly to second half of Dakar Rally
Volkswagen started the second week of the Dakar Rally exactly the way the first half on Friday before the rest day had ended: by securing a triple stage victory and maintaining its previous one-two-three lead. The day's best result was clinched yet again by Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn, who scored a fourth stage victory in the Race Touareg, thus further extending his overall lead.
On the eighth leg from Valparaíso to La Serena in Chile the German Volkswagen duo Dieter Depping/Timo Gottschalk reached the destination in second position with a 4.02-minute gap to Sainz/Périn; they were followed in third place ten seconds later by Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford in the third of the blue Race Touareg vehicles.
Mitsubishi Ralliart still has a chance of a podium finish, after Nani Roma & Lucas Cruz set the fourth fastest time on the 294km special between Valparaíso and La Serena. Roma & Cruz, who also have the added responsibility of carrying the hopes of the whole team during the second week of the Dakar, were not affected by the need to set good times and at the same time not make any mistakes, on a leg that continued northwards along the Pacific coast towards La Serena.
Roma occupied third position at the first control, at kilometre 180 of the special. Just three seconds ahead of him were the German Dieter Depping, and Carlos Sainz, with a comfortable lead though. Close behind him the American Mark Miller, at 33 seconds.