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2015-01-09 08:27

BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Toyota SA's Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie were sidelined with their Dakar Hilux for an hour on Thursday with an electrical fault. Image: AP / Franck Fife


The new Imperial Toyota Hilux is an evolution rather than a complete redesign, building on the strengths of the preceding versions to take on the 2015 Dakar Rally.

ANTOFAGASTA, Chile - The Dakar is known as a race that takes no prisoners and Thursday’s (Jan 8) Stage 5 of the world's toughest motorsport event proved to be a turning point for South Africa’s Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie in their Toyota Imperial Hilux (#327).

They lost nearly an hour to the leaders on the stage after an electrical short over the rough terrain stopped the car.

A tired Poulter said after the 458km stage between Copiapo and Antofagasta: "We started strong and were 11th-fastest past the first two check points but then the engine suddenly cut and we spent nearly an hour hunting for the problem.

“In the end it was an easy fix and we were back up to race pace immediately."


Despite going strong towards the end of the stage, they posted only the 39th-fastest time on the day and went down to 18th overall as a result.

Team principal Glyn Hall said at the bivouac near the seaside town of Antofagasta: "It was a very disappointing day as far as Leeroy and Rob are concerned. They made up a lot of ground on Wednesday, only to lose it again on Thursday.

“This means they would normally have to start 39th place but, because Leeroy was ninth on Wednesday yesterday - inside the top 16 - we can use a joker to re-seed his start position.

“Depending on the order Leeroy will start inside the top 20, which means bigger dust gaps."


Things went significantly smoother for the other SA Toyota Hilux factory entry, Giniel de Villiers and navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz, on the stage as they posted the sixth-fastest time of the day. They lost 2min20 to the rally leader, Nasser al-Attiyah (Mini) but remain comfortable in second overall.

De Villiers said: "We decided not to take too many risks today. It was a long, tough, route with many places to get things wrong and at this stage we need to make sure we finish each day in a reasonable position rather than pushing for stage wins that could ultimately cost us the race.

“We have to keep in touch with al-Attiyah, that is our goal, there are plenty of stage kilometres to go.”


Next up today (Friday Jan 9) is Stage 6 from Antofagasta to Iquique on Chile's far northern coast. The stage consists of 255km of rocky tracks and giant dunes, split after 69km by a short neutralisation section of 22km.

The total liaison distance is nearly 400km, after which the crews will arrive at the resort town of Iquique, which was struck by an earthquake on April 1 2014.

Stay with Wheels24 for daily coverage of the 2015 Dakar Rally.


Dakar Rally results on Thursday January 8 after Stage 5 from Copiapo to Antofagasta in Chile (697km total/458km timed):


1 Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS/Mini) 4hr19min18
2 Yazeed Alrajhi/Timo Gttschalk (KSA/GER/Toyota) +20sec
3 Robby Gordon/Johnny Campbell (USA/USA/Gordini) +1min25
4 Nasser al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/FRA/Mini) +3min24
5 Stephane Peterhansel/Jean Paul Cottret (FRA/FRA/Peugeot) +4min04
6 Giniel De Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/GER/Toyota) +5min44
7 Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (POL/FRA/Mini) +8min49
8 Nani Roma/Michel Prin (ESP/FRA/Mini) +10min02
9 Erik Van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NED/NED/Mini) +11min35
10 Orlando Terranova/Bernardo Graue (ARG/ARG/Mini) +11min54

Overall (after five stages)

1 Nasser al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/FRA/Mini) 16hr53min26 (2min penalty)
2 Giniel De Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/GER/Toyota) +10min35
3 Yazeed Alrajhi/Timo Gttschalk (KSA/GER/Toyota) +20min29
4 Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (POL/FRA/Mini) +48min55
5 Erik Van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NED/NED/Mini) + 53min25
6 Bernhard Ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul (NED/BEL/Toyota) +56min19
7 Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS/Mini) +1hr09min52
8 Christian Lavieille/Pascal Maimon (FRA/FRA/Toyota) +1hr13min59
9 Stephane Peterhansel/Jean Paul Cottret (FRA/FRA/Peugeot) +1hr19min17
10 Aidyn Rakhimbayev/Anton Nikolaev (KAZ/RUS/Mini) +1hr21min32


1 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) 4hr38min16
2 Joan Barreda (ESP/Honda) +2min16
3 Pablo Quintanilla (CHI/KTM) +2min40
4 Stefan Svitko (SVK/KTM) +3min54
5 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) +4min37
6 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) +6min35
7 Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHI/Honda) +7min10
8 Matthias Walkner (AUT/KTM) +7min24
9 Alain Duclos (FRA/Sherco Tvs) +9min57
10 Toby Price (AUS/KTM) 10:05

Overall (after five stages)

1 Joan Barreda (ESP/Honda) 17hr51min05
2 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) 10min33
3 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) 22min50
4 Pablo Quintanilla (CHI/KTM) 31min06
5 Jordi Viladoms (ESP/KTM) 36min23
6 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) 38min13
7 Matthias Walkner (AUT/KTM) 38min36
8 Toby Price (AUS/KTM) 39min54
9 Stefan Svitko (SVK/KTM) 42min05
10 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) 43min24

Stay with Wheels24 for daily coverage of the 2015 Dakar Rally.

Video: Car/bike stage summary: Copiapo > Antofagasta
Stage 5 - Car/Bike - Stage Summary - (Copiapo... by Dakar

Read more on:    toyota  |  poulter  |  hall  |  de villiers  |  chile  |  2015 dakar rally

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