The dream continues. With four days of racing behind them, the Imperial Toyota Hilux’s continue to impress. All four cars ran beautifully, finishing 2nd (TerraNova), 3rd ( de Villiers ) , 8th (Vos ) and 12th ( Alvarez ). This result moves Giniel up to 2nd place overall, Alvarez to 9th, Vos to 12th while Terranova has made it back up to 18th. Duncan Vos, in particular, had a great run and he is looking more and more like the multiple SA Champion that he is.
For these four vehicles to be running in the top twenty at this stage, is an amazing achievement and cautious whispers are starting to wonder “What of these cars can do the business?”
Giniel de Villiers: “I did not sleep at all well last night and did not feel at my best when we got to the start. That’s when you take it easy, keep the car on the road and play it safe.”
The route took competitors through the canyons between the Andes in long sweeping, sandy river beds. It is surreal landscape where layers of the earth’s crust jut up into the sky from the flat desolation of the barren countryside. The overnight stop is just outside the city of Cilecito, named after the large number of Chilean inhabitants.
Tomorrow’s route contains the last great unknown in terms of race performance, soft sand – also known as fesh-fesh. The Hilux’s have excelled beyond any reasonable expectation on every day so far and by tomorrow night, when the teams dock in Fiambala, we’ll know how well they can be expected to do in the sand.
It is hard to believe that after all that has happened, it is still early days, but it is. There is a lot of racing left and it would be foolish to get one’s hopes up just yet, but so far so very good.