The wake up call. Team Imperial Toyota’s impressive run had its stride broken today in the soft sand around Fiambala. Giniel de Villiers lost some 20 minutes after falling into a blow-hole as he crested a dune. The soft sand in the bottom of the hole required a lot of jacking and manoeuvring before the Hilux was free to run again.
When asked how it happened Giniel said: “ Gosh, (or something to that effect) I got stuck. It is such a pity, because today was actually easy, very easy.” Once free from the hole, Giniel and the Imperial Toyota Hilux were on the pace. The nett result of this misfortune is that Giniel now lies in 5th place overall.
Duncan Vos and Rob Howie in the 313 Imperial Toyota Hilux had another strong run and will start tomorrow’s stage in 12th place, while Lucio Alvarez will start in 10th.
The second Team Overdrive Toyota Hilux, driven by Orlando Terranova and Andy Grider withdrew from the event today when Andy had to return to the United States to attend to his family.
Duncan Vos feels that “I am much more comfortable in the dunes now and look forward to tackling the rest of the desert stages. The motion sickness that sometimes concerned me never reared its head in today’s dunes. That’s a huge relief/”
Tomorrow’s stage to Copiapo has been cancelled due to snow and rain in the pass and all the competitors will make their way to Chile in a convoy.
Despite the setback, the mood in the team is positive. The camp being pitched in a light sandstorm did little to dampen spirits there was still a lot of light hearted banter. The dream run may have faltered, but the Imperial Toyota Hilux’s showed that they have the pace in the sand.