Motorsport hero Giniel de Villiers and his Dakar Racing Toyota Hilux were honoured at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed with the 20th Driver’s Award. Giniel drove the Hilux on the gravel, forest stage at Goodwood – a 4km hot lap route. He was chosen by marshals and the clerk of the course as the “most exciting driver” of the weekend.
“The guys really liked the bakkie,” said Giniel of the spectators and the handful of co-drivers who were lucky enough to make it into the Hilux. “I had the Hilux on two wheels at one stage, and I guess that people really enjoyed that.
“We come here to have some fun and showcase the Dakar Racing Hilux, yet in some ways it is also the spiritual start to our next Dakar campaign, which will begin soon in the Namib desert.”
Giniel will once again be racing in the Dakar this year, joined by Ford’s Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst. Toyota has released a limited edition Dakar Hilux range in conjunction with the former announcement. Giniel’s co-driver will still be Dirk von Zitzewits, but the talented South African driver, Leeroy Poulter, will be joining him in a second Hilux with Rob Howie as his co-driver.