Dakar 2012 – Team Imperial Toyota – Day Fourteen


What a boytjie ! Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz led the last real stage of the 2012 Dakar until confusion at a waypoint caused them to slip back to a second place for the day, cementing their 3rd place overall. Dirk von Zitzewitz: “..we were on km 240 where there was supposed to be a waypoint, but it did not come up.

Dakar 2012 toyota hilux

We could see bike tracks to our left, the West and went looking for the waypoint in that direction. We saw a helicopter had landed there, at a big drop off that was not on the road book – because we weren’t supposed to be there. When we spoke to them, they told us that the waypoint is in fact to our East. So we went back in that direction and found the waypoint, but by then there were two helicopters and the other competitors did not lose as much time as we had.

Alvarez stormed home in fifth place while Duncan Vos and Rob Howie turned their number 31 starting position into an excellent 18th place. Yet another remarkable day for the South African Toyotas and for team Imperial Toyota.

With only a short 26km whip through the dunes left, the fat lady is on her last note and the South African Toyotas are on the cusp of an almost unbelievably remarkable achievement. Giniel on the podium and the three Toyotas in the top ten would have been unthinkable three short months ago, when the team got the go-ahead for the project and a tribute to each and every one of the members of team Imperial Toyota.

For tonight, the crew is preparing the cars for a last dash in the sand and to repacking the trucks for the trip back to wonderfully lush southern tip of Africa. We’re all holding thumbs for tomorrow.

information supplied by: Toyota South Africa – Dakar
Photograph: Danie van Jaarsveld