Giniel de Villiers, with a Nissan Pickup N-05 wins today's special stage Today, Giniel de Villiers gave Nissan its third stage win during the 2005 Dakar. Having led the timed sector from start to finish, the South African driver has gained...
Giniel de Villiers, with a Nissan Pickup N-05 wins today's special stage
Today, Giniel de Villiers gave Nissan its third stage win during the 2005 Dakar. Having led the timed sector from start to finish, the South African driver has gained around 13 minutes on Jutta Kleinschmidt. Ari Vatanen was 7th.
Fourth overall, Giniel de Villiers claimed his first stage win on the 27th edition of the Dakar during today's 12th leg. In 2004, he had set the best time during the Castellon special stage, in Spain. This was Nissan's third stage win in this edition, after Colin McRae's two wins early in the rally. Today's stage took the competitors into Mali. A particularly tricky type of terrain, with different scenery and plenty of vegetation, which made changing direction more difficult. The many trees alongside the track turned into obstacles to be negotiated with care.
Moreover, this was the second marathon stage, which meant that there was no assistance waiting in Bamako. However, unlike the Tichit marathon stage, the cars, after refuelling, were not placed in Parc Fermé. The competitors are therefore allowed to service their vehicles themselves.
Giniel and Jean-Marie were very happy with this performance, and also slightly surprised. A smiling Giniel de Villiers was quite relaxed on his arrival in Bamako : "To be quite honest, this win was rather unexpected. We did not decide to go for a win. It was at around 150 km from the finish that I realised that it looked as if we could set a good time, as a lot of cars seemed to be having problems finding the right path. The stage was really difficult, and that makes this win even more special..."
Jean-Marie Lurquin had plenty to do during this long and tricky stage : "It was a very difficult day. The stage was incredibly long. We started behind Saby, and caught up with him quickly. Then we caught up with the leading group, without noticing anyone behind us... We crossed the line just behind Peterhansel. As far as the navigation was concerned, it was far from simple. There were trees everywhere, dust and tracks all over the place... The track was very narrow; we even lost our rear-view mirrors. I think we can be proud of our result; let's say that we made fewer mistakes than the others... The car was perfect."
Ari Vatanen is continuing to play the role of eluxury' fast assistance: "We were on the savannah today, with plenty of tracks everywhere. We were not always on the right one, but it doesn't matter. We are taking care of rapid assistance for the elad'. I'm very pleased he won today."
Tiziano Siviero, Ari's navigator, did not have an easy day : "The navigation was difficult. We took a while to find the right direction on two or three occasions. There were a lot of trees, which made things more complicated. We were very careful."
Tomorrow will be the second Mali stage. The competitors will reach Kayes after a 370 km special stage.