HILUX HEROES: Day 3 of the 2015 Dakar Rally and Giniel de Villiers (left) has, we hope, consolidated his second place overall, whlle team mate Leeroy Poulter in another Hilux broke a control arm. Image: Toyota SA / Marc Bow
CHILECITO, Argentina - Stage 3 of Dakar 2015 (Jan 6) ran through some of the most spectacular scenery on the face of the planet but South African representatives Giniel de Villiers and navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz (#303) clearly didn't take a moment to enjoy their surroundings.
They posted the second-fastest time on the stage, losing out on a stage win by just 1min54 after 284km of cross-country racing. In the end it was Mini driver Orlando Terranova who pipped them to the post but the South African Hilux crew remains in second place overall, 5min18 behind Nasser al-Attiyah (Mini).
'TERRANOVA A BIT FASTER'
De Villiers said from the bivouac near Chilecito, 232km north of the end of Stage 3: "We had another good day in the Toyota Imperial Hilux. The bakkies ran perfectly and we were very fast. Unfortunately we had a puncture near the end of the stage, costing us some time.
“Still, it looked like we’d won the stage, but then Terranova came through and he was just a little bit faster."
The stage consisted of varied terrain and started near the arid town of San Juan at the base of the Andes. With towering red rock spires in the background, the cars made their way across vast open sections on shale-covered tracks and river beds before finishing under the watchful peaks of the Andes on the way to Chilecito.
PRESSURE ON FOR POULTER
For Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie, in the second Toyota Imperial Hilux, Stage 3 will be one to remember - but not for the reasons they had hoped. After a great outing on Stage 2, Poulter/Howie hit trouble early into the stage when they made hard contact with a ditch and broke a lower control arm. They had a spare but it took 45 minutes to install.
Team principal Glyn Hall said Poulter would need to dig deep to make the most of the situation: "Leeroy has matured a lot as a driver, as we saw on the first two stages. Today's incident was unfortunate but I believe Leeroy has the potential to win stages and it will be interesting to see how high they can climb back up the leader board."
HEADING FOR CHILE
Stage 3 was the last in Argentina for now as the crews cross the Andes into Chile for Stage 4. Most of the day will be spent on a monster liaison of 594km, followed by a stage of 315km. Stage 3 will start at 3000m above sea level and end with the famous descent down a giant dune into the mining town of Copiapo.It will also see the first big dunes of Dakar 2015 and will certainly test every crew to the limit.
Stay with Wheels24 for daily coverage of the 2015 Dakar Rally.
Results after Stage 3 of the 2015 Dakar Rally on January 6 from San Juan to Chilecito in Argentina:
1 Orlando Terranova/Bernardo Graue (ARG/ARG/Mini) 2hr57min28
2 Giniel De Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/GER/Toyota) +1min54
3 Yazeed Alrajhi/Timo Gttschalk (KSA/GER/Toyota) +2min52
4 Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (ESP/ESP/Peugeot) +4min06
5 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/FRA/Mini) +4min18
6 Nani Roma/Michel Prin (ESP/FRA/Mini) +5min58
7 Stephane Peterhansel/Jean Paul Cottret (FRA/FRA/Peugeot) + 9min26
8 Erik Van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NED/NED/Mini) +11min57
9 Ronan Chabot/Gilles Pillot (FRA/FRA/Smg) +15min49
10Christian Lavieille/Pascal Maimon (FRA/FRA/Toyota) +16min28.
Overall standings1 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/FRA/Mini) 9hr21min26 (penality: 2:00)
2 Giniel De Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/GER/Toyota) +5min18
3 Orlando Terranova/Bernardo Graue (ARG/ARG/Mini) +18min05
4 Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (ESP/ESP/Peugeot) +19min32
5 Yazeed Alrajhi/Timo Gttschalk (KSA/GER/Toyota) +20min08
6 Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (POL/FRA/Mini) +25min24
7 Erik Van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NED/NED/Mini) +27min43
8 Bernhard Ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul (NED/BEL/Toyota) +36min22
9 Carlos Sousa/Paulo Fiuza (POR/POR/Mitsubishi) +41min52
10 Christian Lavieille/Pascal Maimon (FRA/FRA/Toyota) +43min38.
Motorcycles1 Matthias Walkner (AUT/KTM) 2hr34min28
2 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) 40sec
3 Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Honda) +1min53
4 Toby Price (AUS/KTM +2min45
5 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) +2min49
6 Alain Duclos (FRA/Sherco Tvs) +3min11
7 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) +3min26
8 Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHI/Honda) +4min02
9 Jordi Viladoms (ESP/KTM) +4min36
10 Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP/Yamaha) +5min21.
1 Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Honda) 9hr 43min 05sec
2 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) +5min33
3 Matthias Walkner (AUT/KTM) +10min33
4 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) +10min50
5 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) +12min10
6 Toby Price (AUS/Ktm) +12min24
7 Jordi Viladoms (ESP/KTM) +14min07
8 Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHI/Honda) +18min33
9 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) +18min34
10 Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP/Yamaha) +23min02