|Dakar Rally 2013: De Villiers - "Enjoyed comparatively quiet day Tuesday".|
A safe fourth place on Tuesday’s difficult 353-kilometre special stage 10 between Cordoba and Rioja in Argentina saw the Toyota Imperial South Africa Team’s Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz consolidate their second place in the general classification of the Dakar Rally.
While defending champions Stephane Peterhansel and Jean Paul Cottret of France in a Mini stretched their overall lead to 52:38 minutes over the South African/German duo after finishing 3rd on the special stage, the 2009 champions in their Imperial Toyota Hilux extended their advantage over the Mini of third-placed Russians Leonid Novitskiy and Konstantin Zhiltsov to just over 16 minutes.
"After our exciting Monday we enjoyed a comparatively quiet day Tuesday" said Giniel de Villiers. "It was a good feeling, particularly as tomorrow sees us head into the dunes around Fiambalá. Although we were slightly hampered by Robby Gordon’s dust, we are pleased we managed to extend the gap to third place. It gives us a useful cushion between us and the next car."
Navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz said: "We are extremely satisfied with Tuesday. Navigation was comparatively simple, so we were able to drive consistently through the stage. We know the 11th stage to Fiambalá well, so we are very optimistic, and aim to post another good performance on Wednesday. We also have a good starting position (fourth), which makes it a lot easier."
The South African-built Hilux didn’t miss a beat after starting fourth in the morning and although he got caught in the dust of the Hummer of Robby Gordon and Kellon Walch, De Villiers was content to push just hard enough to defend his second position and not risk it all trying to pass the Americans.
2013/01/16 | 13:41 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/FORTUNE