Dakar Rally – Giniel de Villiers on track to win the Dakar 2013
DE VILLIERS CONSOLIDATES THIRD PLACE ON DAKAR RALLY AFTER DAY FIVE
"Toyota Hilux - Giniel de Villiers - Dakar Rally"
It was another good day for Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz (Imperial Toyota Hilux) in the Dakar Rally in South America, with the 2009 champions finishing Wednesday’s relatively short 172-kilometre special stage between Arequipa and Arica in fourth place and maintaining their third position in the overall car classification.
They are now the lone representatives of Toyota Imperial South Africa Team after the withdrawal of Duncan Vos and Rob Howie with a damaged roll cage on Tuesday and the hopes of all South Africans rest on this experienced and respected team.
The stage was won by Spain’s Nani Roma and Michel Perin of France in a Mini from their team-mates and overall leaders Stephane Peterhansel and Jean Paul Cottret. Americans Robbie Gordon and Kellon Walch (Hummer) were third, but are well out of overall contention in 36th place, nearly six hours behind the leaders after their crash and radiator problems on Tuesday.
The competition for stage honours was particularly close with just 1 min 51 sec separating De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz in fourth and Roma/Perrin in first.
There were no changes in the top 10 overall positions, but Argentinians Lucio Alvarez and Roland Graue in the customer Toyota Hilux #306 built by Toyota Motorsport in South Africa improved by two places to 25th overall after the disappointment of losing over three hours with damaged suspension on Tuesday.
De Villiers: “It was not a long stage but quite fast, twisty at the beginning. We had a small problem with the rear brakes – we lost a bit of rear brake, so we'll have to look at what the problem is tonight, but other than that it was a nice stage and beautiful along the beach.”
Von Zitzewitz: “Today was a short stage, not very hard on the car - almost a small rest day! We have a small problem with the rear brakes getting too hot, but the team is doing all they can to fix the problem. Today we could have done a bit better, but we lost time behind Guerlain Chicherit (SMG Buggy) who was not willing to let us through. Otherwise a very good and enjoyable day for us.”
Tomorrow will be a very difficult stage, the longest so far this year, but we are in a good starting position. Fourth place will assist to give us lines as well as to identify the soft spots in the dunes.
Thursday’s stage six from Arica to Calama consists of a 313-kilometre liaison stage and a 454-kilometre special stage – the first special stage in Chile and the longest of the rally so far. It’s back to the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth, where competitors will face sand and dunes for two thirds of the distance. Two specific sections of the stage will be timed and they will rediscover fesh fesh (powdered sand), which is unlikely to enthuse them.
Dakar Rally 2013 Images
"Giniel de Villiers driving in Peru, South America on Day 5 of the Dakar Rally"
"The Toyota Hilux Pick-up"
The Toyota Hilux in the Dakar Rally - The pick-up were made for terrain like this
Giniel de Villiers in 3rd overall place for the Dakar Rally
The Toyota Impertial Support Team checks the Toyota Hilux for any problems
Toyota Mechanics checking the Toyota Hilux at the Dakar Rally for any mechanical issues.
The Toyota Imperial South Africa team at the Dakar Rally
Toyota Motorsport Acknowledges Its Dakar Sponsors, Specialist Official Suppliers and Technical Partners
Toyota, Imperial Toyota, Duxbury Netgear, SAA, SAA Cargo, Innovation Group, Toyota Financial Services, Blue Sky, Bosch, Castrol, DeWalt, Donaldson, Edgecam, 4x4 Mega World, Hallspeed, Mastercraft, Michelin, Mistral, NGK, Oakley, SKF, Spanjaard and TFM.