It's also nice to see the Schlesser Team doing well, but I fear as the rally goes on they will fall back. There only a small team going against the big manufacturers, and get feck all out of Ford. It's only his genius that can compete on such a level. Maybe some day it could be one of us???? lol.
In an increasingly tense fight for the Dakar Rally lead Volkswagen keeps the upper hand: Debutant Carlos Sainz still leads the rally after the fifth of fifteen legs, during which the gap among the lead cars significantly decreased. His team mate Jutta Kleinschmidt in another Race Touareg 2 improved by one place to become the new second placed driver after the 819 kilometre stage, of which 350 kilometres were timed, from Ouarzazate to Tan Tan in Morocco.
Spanish driver Carlos Sainz has taken the fourth stage win of his maiden Dakar rally as reigning champion Stephane Peterhansel edged closer to his ninth overall victory.
Volkswagen driver Sainz, already out of contention after losing nearly eight hours during the eighth stage, won the day's 283 km special between Kiffa in Mauritania and Kayes in Mali.
Sainz, 12th overall, finished over four minutes ahead of compatriot Nani Roma, the fastest of the Mitsubishi drivers in today's special.
Peterhansel finished third almost five minutes behind, but the Frenchman has increased his lead in the standings after teammate Luc Alphand hit trouble.
Alphand, second overall, finished over 35 minutes behind Sainz after hitting a tree and stopping to repair a front wheel. The French driver is now 40 minutes adrift of Peterhansel with five days of the rally remaining.
Thierry Magnaldi, sixth overall before today's stage in his Schlesser buggy, was also hit by trouble, the Frenchman suffering problems on a rear hub and losing a lot of time to the leaders.
American Mark Miller and former champion Jutta Kleinschmidt finished fourth and fifth in today's special. Giniel de Villiers, eighth today, is still the highest ranked Volkswagen driver in third place, ahead of Roma and Kleinschmidt.
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