Rundle and Mohr on Verge of Completing First Dakar Rally in Top 25
Thomas Rundle and Juan Mohr (DMack/Barden Toyota Hilux) are on the verge of completing their first Dakar Rally in the top 25 in what would be a remarkable debut achievement in the world’s longest and toughest motor race.
With just the 13th and final special stage, a technical and twisty racing section covering 157 kilometres between La Serena and Valparaiso in Chile, remaining after 14 days in Argentina and Chile, the South African duo are in 26th place overall.
Friday’s penultimate stage between El Salvador and La Serena was a tough 350-kilometre test over rocky roads and a string of sand dunes. “We had a good stage today and the car performed well. We’re close to the end of this great adventure and we’re not about to take any chances when we’re about to achieve a life’s ambition: to compete in and finish the Dakar Rally, the greatest cross country racing challenge in the world.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from family and friends and fans across the world. This has carried us through what has been a momentous two weeks for us.”
Friday’s stage was won by defending champions Stephane Peterhansel and Jean Paul Cottret of France (Mini), who assumed the overall lead from team-mates Nani Roma of Spain and Michel Perin of France to put them in line for a third successive victory. Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar and Lucas Cruz of Spain (Mini) were second ahead of Roma and Perin. South African Giniel de Villiers and German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz (Toyota Hilux) were fourth.
Peterhansel and Cottret enjoy a slim 26s lead over Roma and Perin in the overall standings, with Al-Attiyah and Cruz third, 54m 07s in arrears. De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz are fourth, 1h 21m 13s behind the leaders.
Saturday’s stage 13 from La Serena to Valparaiso presents the survivors with the opportunity to experience the pride and joy of completing the Dakar Rally, an achievement in itself. Even this close to the finish vigilance is their best ally. For the first time in the history of the Dakar there will be a night podium ceremony in which the successful competitors will be presented to the thousands of spectators and millions of television viewers around the world.
Thomas Rundle acknowledges his sponsors and Dakar team partners DMack Tyres, Barden, Liqui Moly, Willard Powertech, DeWalt, Godrich Toyota, Cambist, Pioneer Plastics, Spiralsoft, Itec – Pretoria East, Chemvulc, EyeGym, Rudy Project Eyewear, Ruwacon, Vibro Bricks and Paving, Autozone, Olympus Panelbeaters, Maxwell Advertising & Design, PVM Nutritional Sciences, Steam Generation Africa, Ultimate Powder Coaters, Marina Colonna South Africa, Donaldson Filtration Solutions, Steed Bekker Waterproofing, Chopper Worx, KEC Electrical, Jodan Construction, Ah + A Electrical, Stargas, 4C Technology, PH Bagale, Clippa Sales/Mentos, FH Chamberlain Trading, Raceworx KTM, Lynnwood Cyclery and Heather James Rundle..