After a well-deserved rest day on Sunday, competitors were back in their vehicles on Monday for the start of the second week of the Dakar Rally. The two-part 593km stage took place between San-Miguel de Tucuman and Cordoba, Argentina.
Our local boys did well after a great start, with the Imperial Toyota Hilux #301 almost winning the special stage (which would’ve been the 14th time). A faulty front brake disc held them back, however, and they ended the special in ninth place (completing it in 9:39).
Still, this improved their general position, and the boys of car #301 are now placed second overall, 49:00 behind race leader Peterhansel in his Mini. The Russians are still right on their tails however, with Leonid Novitskiy’s Mini only 6:32 behind de Villiers and von Zitzewitz.
Al-Attiyah had a bad day all round when technical issues with his buggy kept forcing him to stop, and his dreams of winning another Dakar Rally are over for now.
As for the other locally-developed Hiluxes, four more proudly South African bakkies finished in the top 20:
Olholm and Aston – 12th
Malysz and Martin – 14th
Alvarez and Graue – 16th
Coffaro and Meneses – 17th
|Stage 9 Results (Overall Standing)|
|2||301||De Villiers (ZAF)