Good run for SA on Dakar Day 1

2013-01-06 09:18

PISCO, Peru - Toyota Motorsport’s Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz (Imperial Toyota Hilux #301) and Duncan Vos and Rob Howie (Imperial Toyota Hilux #312) successfully negotiated the first day of the 15-day 2013 Dakar Rally in South America on Saturday, finishing ninth and 13th overall respectively in the car category.

Dakar stage 1 gallery

The 34th running of the world’s longest and toughest motor race started in Lima on the Pacific west coast of Peru and took the 449-strong entry of cars, trucks, motorcycles and quads south on a 250km liaison section to Pisco. The day ended with a 13-kilometre special stage in the sand dunes on the outskirts of the coastal town of Pisco.


2009 Dakar winners Villiers and Zitzewitz completed the special stage in 8min15, 35sec behind the winners, 2010 Dakar winner Carlos Sainz of Spain and Timo Gottschalk of Germany in a buggy.

Current South African Off-Road champions Vos and Howie came home 44sec in arrears.

Villiers, competing in his 10th Dakar and is second in the South African-built Hilux, said: “It was quite an easy stage, not much more than a warm-up for the more serious challenges that lie ahead.

He’s referred to as “the quiet South African” and is rated by race favourite and 2012 winner Stephane Peterhansel of France as “the driver to beat”.

Peterhansel, driving a Mini with compatriot Jean Paul Cottret, was eighth on Saturday’s opening stage, one second ahead of De Villiers.

Vos, competing in his second Dakar after he and Howie finished 10th in 2012 in an Imperial Hilux, was relieved the race was finally under way.


“It’s been a long build-up with a lot of preparation and hard work by the whole team. It’s great to be back and we’re looking forward to the serious business of taking on the Dakar and reaching the finish in Santiago in Chile on January 20.”

Sunday’s 242km second special stage will follow an 85km liaison section and will see competitors immediately thrown a stiff challenge of sand dunes and hot temperatures.

They will return to Pisco for a second night.

Dakar Rally results after Saturday (Jan 5 2013) opening stage (263km/13km timed) from Lima to Pisco

1 Carlos Sainz (ESP/Buggy) 7min40
2 Lucio Alvarez (ARG/Toyota) +8sec
3 Guerlain Chicherit (FRA/SMG) +10sec
4 Nasser al-Attiyah (QAT/Buggy) +10sec
5 Ronan Chabot (FRA/SMG) +12sec
6 Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL/Mini) +34sec
7 Leonid Novitskiy (RUS/Mini) +34sec
8 Stephane Peterhansel (SUI/Mini) +34sec
9 Giniel De Villiers (RSA/Toyota) +35sec
10 Nani Roma (ESP/Mini) +37sec

1 Francisco Lopez (CHI/KTM) 7min51
2 Frans Verhoeven (NED/Yamaha) +1sec
3 Pablo Quintanilla (CHI/Honda) +5sec
4 Patricio Cabrera (CHI/Kawasaki) +11sec
5 Cyril Despres (FRA/KTM) +13sec
6 David Casteu (FRA/Yamaha) +15sec
7 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) +19sec
8 Javier Pizzolito (ARG/Honda) +21sec
9 Pal Ullevalseter (NOR/KTM) +26sec
10 Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Husqvarna) +29sec

Wheels24 will be following the 'Dakar' rally throughout the race. Keep up with things on our Dakar Rally section.