Dakar: South Africa drivers stage eight report

Massive accidents and awesome scenery in Dakar. Cox out of 2003 Dakar Alfie Cox, South African hero and veteran off road racer of the Gauloises Red Bull Natro Freight Nashua KTM Team disastrously crashed out of the Dakar, shattering his dream...

Massive accidents and awesome scenery in Dakar.

Cox out of 2003 Dakar

Alfie Cox, South African hero and veteran off road racer of the Gauloises Red Bull Natro Freight Nashua KTM Team disastrously crashed out of the Dakar, shattering his dream to win the Dakar, after a massive accident 245km into the special stage, left his shoulder badly injured and his bike in pieces during the eighth stage of the 2003 Telefonica Dakar Rally.

Alfie Cox.
Photo by Gauloises Racing.

"You know what it is like, you take the wrong route and -- when you realize the mistake you tend to panic somewhat because you have lost so much time. I raced flat out and -- I think my shoulder is broken," said Cox in serious agony as he was airlifted by helicopter from the scene of the crash.

Cox activated the satellite distress beacon at approximately 11:00, informing the organizer that he was in an accident and required medical attention. Fortunately it was found that the shoulder is not broken, but dislocated and the bandaged Cox is on his way to Tunis where it will be reseated under anesthetic. He will then fly to Europe before returning to South Africa.

As if the bigger South African involvement did not have enough bad news for one day, Kenjiro Shinozuka and Thierry Delli-Zotti in the Midrand built Nissan Hardbody hit a series of bouncy dunes at high speed which left them flying off before hitting the sand nose first and the car cart wheeling along, with Shinozuka's face crashing into the steering wheel. Both team members were airlifted and are on their way to a hospital in Europe via a medical center in Tunis.

However, this was not to be the only major accidents for the day, Belgium's Paul Wouters also withdrew today after he broke his foot 68km into the stage and at the 102km mark Frenchman Simon Droux broke his leg in another crash.

GINIEL AWESOME

In amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world with endless dunes continuing into the horizon, man and machine was tested to the limit today, and it was South Africa's Giniel de Villiers who moved up one place in the overall standings for cars with his Proudly South African Nissan Hardbody now fourth overall in his maiden Dakar.

VICUS SECOND

Vicus van Deventer on the DHL Bombardier quad finished in second place and is second overall in the quad class.

Tomorrow, stage 9 from Sabha to Zilla, a special stage of 567km with dunes and high-speed sections similar to today, in the picturesque countryside.

-cvz-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Giniel de Villiers , Kenjiro Shinozuka , Thierry Delli-Zotti , Vicus van Deventer , Alfie Cox