Lima/Peru Stop the press! – for a milestone in the history of the Dakar Rally. Giniel de Villiers (Stellenbosch/South Africa), Dirk von Zitzewitz (Karlshof/Germany) and Imperial Toyota have finished third overall at the toughest rally in the world, thus heralding the future of endurance rallies.
Armed with their privately run Hilux, which was developed in accordance with new Dakar regulations set to be introduced in the future, they claimed a podium finish against far more powerful opponents at the first attempt – and at the premiere for Imperial Toyota too.
For de Villiers/von Zitzewitz this was the third top-three finish at the legendary desert rally since it moved to South America four years ago – no other duo can boast such a successful record on this continent.
Their victory in 2009 saw “Ginny” and “Schnietz”, as the friends know each other, herald the era of diesel dominance, which lasted until today. With third place in 2012 they have demonstrated the capabilities of petrol-driven prototypes and future, production-based drive technology.
The last time a car run on conventional petrol finished in the top three was in 2009.
From 2013 the big favourites and today’s Dakar winners will also use production-based engines, in accordance with Dakar regulations. Imperial Toyota, on the other hand, has already been employing tomorrow’s technology this year
The team arrive home on Thuesday, 17 January ex flight SA 225 at 15:30. Be there to give them the welcome they deserve!!!