Time to keep it all together. With only three stages to go, all three the South African Hilux’s are in the top ten, with Giniel in third place. Today’s stage from Arica to Arequipa was another long, harsh trek through the Atacama, alternating between steep rocky climbs and the perils of fesh-fesh.
Giniel finished 4th, Duncan 9th and Lucio 10th, to not only finish inside the top ten, but to also keep all three vehicles in the top ten overall. As on previous days, the Imperial Toyota’s ran like clockwork, making their music across the desert without any major mechanical trouble.
Giniel: “the main thing is we have to focus because there are two more difficult days left for us and the rally is not over yet. I’ve seen many of these rallies in the past and the team needs to stay focused, we need to do a good job and get the car to the finish now.”
In view of how rough the last two stages were, tonight will be a long night for the techies who will be replacing a lot parts, just to be safe. Glyn Hall gave the boys a pep-talk in the bivouac tonight, impressing upon them the magnitude of finishing in the current positions, urging them to give one last big push to the end, giving the drivers the best equipment they are capable of.
There is no shortage of support in the bivouac tonight as a number of South African off-road racing competitors, including commission chairman, Richard Schilling, joined up with the crew today for the final run home.
Removed from the limelight, the 508 Hino of Tehiro Sugawara and Seiichi Suzuki is currently lying in 12th place in the T4 class after a 9th place on today’s stage.
Tomorrow’s stage is a another long tough stage along the Peruvian coastline, one on which little can be gained and a lot could be lost.
Toyota Motorsport Acknowledges Its Dakar Sponsors and Specialist Official Supplier and Technical Partners
IMPERIAL Toyota, Duxbury Netgear, Innovation Group, SAA, TFM, 4×4 Mega World, Blue Sky Satellite Communications, Castrol, NGK, SKF, Ferodo, Spanjaard, Edgecam, Mastercraft, Donaldson, Oakley, Sparco, Shatterprufe, Supreme Spring and Savino del Bene.