'JA., BOET...' Toyota Imperial drivers Giniel de Villiers (left) and Rob Howie chew over the penultimate stage of the 2015 Dakar Rally. Image: Toyota SA / Marc Bow
ROSARIO, Argentina - Stage 12, the penultimate stage of Dakar 2015, saw the race crews compete in a testing 298km special which took them from the riverside town of Termas Rio Hondo to the city of Rosario - and the last bivouac of the race.
Both Toyota Imperial South African Dakar Team vehicles recorded solid, steady performances, with Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz (#303) posting the 12th-fastest time of the day.
Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie (#327) were just 12sec slower than their team mates - good enough for 13th on the stage. The result of their steady performances on Stage 12 was that De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz consolidated second in the overall standings; Poulter and Howie held on to 16th.
'THEY DID A GREAT JOB'
Team principal Glyn Hall said from the final bivouac of the race: "It was another good, solid day for us. Giniel and Dirk did exactly what we required of them by driving conservatively and bringing the Toyota Imperial Hilux through without any hassles.
“And Leeroy and Rob did a great job despite starting 20th due to some of the other drivers using their 'jokers' to improve their own starting slots."
So, it’s all but over for the Toyota Imperial SA Dakar Team. Only one stage remains - Rosario to the Argentine capital - Buenos Aires. Stage 13 will cover 174km tol bring the total distance covered by the race teams to 9112km. For Poulter/Howie it will be a chance to push hard for a stage win after again showing remarkable pace on Stage 12 but never getting the clear air needed for a proper push.
'WRAPPED-UP SINCE REST DAY'
For their team mates, however, Stage 13 needs to go just the same as 12.
De Villiers, after completing Stage 12, said: “The reality is that we've had second place wrapped up since the rest day - barring something unforeseen. All that remains for us to do is bring the Hilux home safely.
“To do that we can't afford to take any risks."
Each crew, after completing the stage to Buenos Aires, will attend the traditional finish podium as they bid farewell to one of the greatest motor races in the world.
Results after Stage 12 of the 2015 Dakar Rally on Friday over 1024km from Termas de Rio Hondo to Rosario in Argentina with 298km timed
1 Orlando Terranova/Bernardo Graue (ARG/ARG/Mini) 3hr04min06
2 Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS/Mini) 30
3 Emiliano Spataro/Benjamin Lozada (ARG/ARG/Renault) 1min29
4 Nasser al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/FRA/Mini) 1min37
5 Bernhard Ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul (NED/BEL/Toyota) 1min50
6 Carlos Sousa/Paulo Fiuza (POR/POR/Mitsubishi) 1min52
7 Stephane Peterhansel/Jean Paul Cottret (FRA/FRA/Peugeot) 4min04
8 Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (POL/FRA/Mini) 4min39
9 Robby Gordon/Johnny Campbell (USA/USA/Gordini) 5min20
10 Aidyn Rakhimbayev/Anton Nikolaev (KAZ/RUS/Mini) 6min15
1 Nasser al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/FRA/Mini) 40hr18min30 (penalty 2min00)
2 Giniel de Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/GER/Toyota) +35min39
3 Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (POL/FRA/Mini) +1hr31min51
4 Erik Van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NED/NED/Mini) +3hr01min34 (penalty 40min00)
5 Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS/Mini) +3hr12min19
6 Christian Lavieille/Pascal Maimon (FRA/FRA/Toyota) +3hr15min16
7 Bernhard Ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul (NED/BEL/Toyota) +3hr41min53
8 Carlos Sousa/Paulo Fiuza (POR/POR/Mitsubishi) +3hr44min35. (penality 40min00)
9 Aidyn Rakhimbayev/Anton Nikolaev (KAZ/RUS/Mini) +4hr07min47 (penalty 30sec)
10 Ronan Chabot/Gilles Pillot (FRA/FRA/Smg) +4hr41min37
1Toby Price (AUS/Ktm) 3hr19min04
2 Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Honda) +1min55
3 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) +3min02
4 Ivan Jakes (SVK/Ktm) +3min08
5 Stefan Svitko (SVK/Ktm) +5min01
6 Marc Coma (ESP/Ktm) +6min25
7 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) +8min40
840, 8. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI/Ktm) +10min07
9 Frans Verhoeven (NED/Yamaha) +10min51
10 Laia Sanz Pla-Giribert (ESP/Honda) +12min42
1 Marc Coma (ESP/Ktm) 45hr08min32
2 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) +17min49 (penalty 16min00)
3 Toby Price (AUS/Ktm) +25min18
4 Pablo Quintanilla (CHI/Ktm) +36min57
5 Stefan Svitko (SVK/Ktm) +46min43
6 Ruben Faria (POR/Ktm) +1hr 50min39 (penalty 40min00)
7 David Casteu (FRA/Ktm) +1hr55min09
8 Laia Sanz Pla-Giribert (ESP/Honda) +2hr19min37
9 Ivan Jakes (SVK/Ktm) 2hr21min29
10 Olivier Pain (FRA/Yamaha) +3hr04min21