De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz finish second in Dakar Rally

The team won the T1.1 class for petrol-powered 4x4 improved cross-country vehicles for the second year in succession.

Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz, driving a South African-built Toyota Hilux 4x4 for the Toyota Imperial Team, were second overall in the Dakar Rally which ended in Santiago, Chile on Saturday afternoon.

#301 Toyota: Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz
#301 Toyota: Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz

Photo by: A.S.O.

It was their second successive podium finish in an Imperial Toyota Hilux in the world’s longest and toughest motor race – they were third last year at Toyota Motorsport’s first attempt – and they won the T1.1 class for petrol-powered 4x4 improved cross-country vehicles for the second year in succession.

After 14 special stages in Peru, Argentina and Chile covering more than 4 000 kilometres and two crossings of the Andes Mountains at an altitude above 4 000 metres, the 2009 Dakar champions finished 42 minutes behind defending champions Stephane Peterhansel and Jean Paul Cottret of France in a Mini.

Third overall in the general classification for cars were Russians Leonid Novitskiy and Konstantin Zhiltsov in another Mini, 46 minutes behind De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz.

#301 Toyota: Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz
#301 Toyota: Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz

Photo by: A.S.O.

Saturday’s final stage of 128 kilometres of fast tracks between La Serena and Santiago was won by Peterhansel’s Spanish team-mate Nani Roma and co-driver Michel Perin of France in another Mini, from Argentine Orlando Terranova and Portugal’s Paulo Fiuza in a BMW X3 and Argentinians Lucio Alvarez and Roland Graue in another South African-built Toyota Hilux. De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz were fourth.

Three other Toyota Hilux 4x4s built by Kyalami-based Hallspeed for Toyota Motorsport were among the 92 finishers out of the 153 cars that started the rally in Lima, Peru, on January 5.

Alvarez and Graue were classified 10th, the Australian/British duo of Geoffrey Olholm and Jonathan Aston were 11th and Poland’s Adam Malysz and Rafal Marton were 15th.

“This is a great result for Toyota Motorsport and then all-South African Toyota Imperial Team,” said team principal Glyn Hall. “It was achieved without any significant mechanical problem and it is testimony to the legendary toughness and reliability of South Africa’s best-selling bakkie.

“This was a mighty performance by Giniel and our honorary South African, Dirk, and also by every single member of our technical and support crew, whose dedication and commitment contributed massively to this proud achievement. I am privileged to be manager of this fine team.”

These results are subject to confirmation. A formal ceremonial podium ceremony will take place on Sunday in front of Santiago’s Palacio de la Moneda, where the South African flag will fly proudly.

Toyota Imperial

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About this article
Series DAKAR
Article type Race reports
Tags dakar, de villiers, von zitzewitz, toyota imperial

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Cesar RamosBSSZandvoortCesar Ramos06/07/2014 06:40

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