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Hilux teams move into first and second positions after Dakar’s first two stages

Hilux teams move into first and second positions after Dakar’s first two stages

Two of the three South African Hilux teams in the Dakar rally are leading the log after the second stage of this gruelling ultra-long distance rally currently running in Peru.

Although the Hilux teams only managed a third and fourth place in Stage 2, their excellent performance in the first stage ensured them the leading positions on the log. Stage 2 was won by Sebastian Loeb in a Peugeot with Nani Roma second in a Mini.

The Hilux team of Bernhard ten Brinke and Xavier Panseri started the second stage in 8th position, but completed the 342 km stage between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona with surgical precision. The Dutch driver brought his Toyota Hilux home just 01:20 behind the winner, moving into second position in the overall standings as a result.

Top of the log, Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz, ran the fourth fastest second stage, just 11 seconds behind Ten Brinke and Panseri. After their good work in the first stage, they took the lead some 28 seconds ahead of the Ten Brinke/Panseri Hilux team.

The winners of Stage 1, Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, finished Stage 2 in the tenth-fastest time after having to open the road. This turned out to be extremely tricky in the thick sand and fine dust, and the team restricted their time loss to 07:37 for the day.

“We are very happy with our performances all round,” said Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Prinicpal, Glyn Hall, from the bivouac at San Juan de Marcona. “Nasser and Mathieu were superb at the head of the field and the other two crews delivered superb drives that have put us at the head of the overall standings.”

With that said, the race is far from over, and anything can still happen. Mini’s Stephane Peterhansel lost the best part of twenty minutes stuck in the dunes in Stage 2 which puts the multiple former winner on the back foot for the next few stages.

Up next is a stage of 331 km in the dunes of Acari, with a total liaison of 460 km. The bivouac at San Juan de Marcona will move southwards to Arequipa for Stage 4. The race will conclude with Stage 10, bringing the crews back to the Peruvian Capital of Lima on 17 January.

The first five teams on the log after the second stage are De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz (Hilux), Ten Brinke and Panseri (Hilux), Roma and Haro (Mini), Al Rajhi and Gottschalk (Mini), and Loeb and Elena (Peugeot).


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SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.