Dakar Rally hero Giniel de Villiers will take on rivals in the season-opening 2013 Total Rally over March 8/9 in what will be his first full season of competition in the SA National Rally championship.De Villiers will leave his Dakar-tuned Toyota Hilux in the garage in favour of an Auris S2000. The 2013 championship will have eight events and see 30 of the country’s best rally drivers and co-drivers chasing glory.MOST CHALLENGINGThe Total is regarded as one of the most challenging events on the calendar due to its slippery gravel surfaces. De Villiers contested the Dakar Rally 2012 and 2013 in a South African-built Toyota Hilux and finished third in 2012 and second overall in 2013. He entered selected rounds of the 2012 SA rally hampionship and in 2013 competes in Class S2000. An all-new Toyota Yaris S2000 is being prepared for him and his Toyota team mates Johnny Gemmell and Leeroy Poulter for the next round in April. His first special-stage rally outing in 2012 was at the muddy and flooded forest stages of the VW Rally near Port Elizabeth where he finished 13th overall. CAREER-BEST PERFORMANCEHe followed this with fifth overall in the Rally South Africa in Durban and in Caledon, Western Cape, raced to seventh overall, before coming home third overall at the Polokwane Rally - his career-best to date. Mechanical mayhem put him 18th overall in the Garden Route Rally. De Villiers was named the SA Sportsman of the Year in 2012. For more information on the Total Rally, click here.