Dakar 2012 Giniel de Villiers Imperial Toyota South Africa


Giniel de VilliersIt was not all plain sailing for Giniel on the road to Fiambala, the South African driver tells us what went down on stage five

The funny thing about today’s stage is that it was actually the easiest stage we have ever driven at Fiambala. The conditions out there were quite cool and the rain meant the dunes weren’t as tricky as they have been in previous years. Unfortunately, we managed to find probably the only hole in the sand on the entire stage. It was like getting caught by a needle in the haystack.

We had been travelling slightly to the right of Stephane Peterhansel’s line and we nearly made it through but just didn’t quite pull it off. We were stuck there for many minutes and it was struggle to get out. Dirk and myself got out of the car and jacked the car up five or six times before we could get it free. The sand was really soft in that place and it set us back at least 15 minutes.

After the stage, Stephane told that he was close to getting stuck in the same spot. Because we were just that little bit more over to the right it was us that got caught up with a slice of bad luck.

These things can happen in the Dakar but at least we are still there at the business end of the leaderboard. We lost some time today but there’s still plenty of ground still to cover.

A big plus we take from these five stages in Argentina is how our Toyota Hilux has held up over some testing terrain. Now I’ve got my passport stamped so I can enjoy the ride over the Andes and into Chile. The views from the top have been a real highlight of the last few editions of the Dakar.