Great News! Giniel De Villiers has done South Africa proud again! He participated in this year’s grueling Dakar rally and finished in 2nd place overall. De Villiers (who originally hails from Barrydale) and Dirk von Zitzewitz drove a South African-built Toyota Hilux 4×4 for the Toyota Imperial Team in the rally.
This year’s Dakar rally took place in South America on 8400 km of roads in Argentina, Chile and Peru over 15 days. The 459 competitors that entered the rally had to face the desert, dunes, rocks, altitudes of up to 4000 metres and numerous obstacles that got the better of many of them to complete the race.
Giniel De Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz achieved their second consecutive podium finish in their Toyota Hilux 4×4 for their team. They won the Dakar rally in 2009. They finished only 42 minutes behind behind Stephane Peterhansel and Jean Paul Cottret (the defending champions from France who drove for the Mini team).
De Villiers commented that it had been a difficult race, as usual. He also said that the Dakar is a tough race and that second place counts as a victory in his books. They had exceeded their expectations by far for this year, they did not think they could improve on their finish last year. De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz were a bit unlucky at times. According to De Villiers one needs a bit of luck in the Dakar – you need the wind to blow in your favour. Before getting into offroad racing, Giniel De Villiers also won the South African touring car championship four times in succession from 1997 to 2000. He made his debut in the Dakar rally in 2003 (when it was still held in Africa).
In other news, fellow South African and Broadlink KTM Rally Team rider Riaan van Niekerk was awarded the trophy for top rookie in the motorcycle race after finishing a very impressive 13th overall in this year’s Dakar Rally.
I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Giniel De Villiers on his finish in this year’s Dakar rally! Keep doing South Africa proud!
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