Dakar: South African racers stages one, two report

DE VILLIERS AND STEENKAMP COMPLETED TWO EUROPEAN STAGES SUCCESSFULLY The 2004 Dakar quad winner, Cornel de Villiers, and his team-mate, Johan Steenkamp, have completed the first two stages of the 2007 Dakar Rally in Europa successfully...

DE VILLIERS AND STEENKAMP COMPLETED TWO EUROPEAN STAGES SUCCESSFULLY

The 2004 Dakar quad winner, Cornel de Villiers, and his team-mate, Johan Steenkamp, have completed the first two stages of the 2007 Dakar Rally in Europa successfully and will tackle the Real Dakar on Monday in Morocco.

De Villiers will tackle Stage Three on Monday, 8 January, in Morocco from the fourth position in the Quad Category, 19 minutes behind their Can-Am MD Rally Sport team-mate who is currently leading, Jose Manuel Gonzalez. Steenkamp is ninth in this category.

De Villiers, the four-time SA off-road quad champion, had a big scare on the opening 117km stage from Lisbon to Portamao when his Bombardier Outlander 800 ran out of fuel while he was the leading quad rider. The route was extremely sandy and his big Outlander used more fuel than calculated for.

He was forced to wait for Steenkamp to come to his rescue and finished the stage in seventh place with Steenkamp the 11th quad home.

Both Steenkamp and De Villiers took it easy on Stage Two from Portamao to Malaga with the former champion completing the 67km stage in fifth position and Steenkamp again the 11th quad home. This stage took place in the mountains with steep drop-offs while it was also very tight and twisty and the two South Africans decided to play safe and take it easy. (The Czeck quad rider, Josef Machacek, dropped from fourth place in the category to 11th when his Yamaha went off the road on this stage.)

The two quad competitors were in good spirits when they departed on the ferry that will take them from Spain to Morocco. They realise that the Real Dakar only starts when they arrive in Africa where they trust that their strong 800cc Bombardier Outlanders equipped with independent rear suspension, reverse gear and 4x4 capabilities, will work towards their advantage.

Thirteen quad competitors will start the third stage of the Dakar Rally in Morocco, Africa.

-credit: ET.Komm

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Series DAKAR