Wheels24

SA flag flies high in Dakar desert

2012-01-05 13:03

CHILECITO, Argentina - South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers (Toyota Hilux) has taken second position overall after Stage 4 of the 2012 Dakar Rally in Argentina.

He finished third on Wednesday in the 326km fourth leg from San Juan to Chilecito with co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz in 3hr56min15, six minutes and 42 seconds behind stage winners and overall leaders Stephane Peterhansel and Jean Paul Cottret.

VOS/HOWIE MOVE UP

Peterhansel, nine-times a winner of the Dakar (six times on a motorcycle, three in a car) remains the favourite to win ahead of De Villiers.

The South African pairing of Duncan Vos and Robert Howie also moved up a spot from 13th to 12th overall by finishing the fourth stage in eighth, 13min49 behind Peterhansel. They are 57min50 behind the leader on overall race position.

Mark Corbett and Francois Jordaan (Century Racing CR4) ended Wednesday in 20th in a time of 4hr25min14 and are now 19th in the overall standings. It was a brave recovery from the setback of two punctures on Tuesday's stage three from San Rafael to San Juan after starting 60 place, 35min14 behind the stage winners.

100 PLACES GAINED

Off-road and enduro motorcycle veteran Darryl Curtis is leading the four-man South African contingent on two wheels on a KTM 450, impressing on his Dakar debut with 44th place overall after starting 144th four days ago.

Iain Stevenson is 111th, Greg Raaf is 115th and Neil Scott-Williams is 126th, each aboard a KTM.