|SA-Dakar Rally: De Villiers - "Hilux ran well again, otherwise no problems".|
One for the good guys! The South African "Imperial Toyota" team, the Belgian "Overdrive Toyota" team and the "Toyota powered Century Racing" machines all enjoyed an outstanding outing Tuesday on day three of the 2012 Dakar.
Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz showed what the Hilux Pickup is capable of and now lie third overall on the event, 1:40 minutes off the lead. The Alavarez/Graue Hilux produced another strong run to secure 8th place in the overall rankings.
The most improved driver award goes to Duncan Vos, who showed the tenacity which has won him four South African off-road titles, to improve his overall position to 13th from 18th place at the start.
"The Hilux ran well again. We lost a little time 30 km from end due to screen fogging up in riverbed, but otherwise no problems" said De Villiers after the race via Twitter. "The Hilux was fantastic and Robby made a good navigation" said Duncan Vos, also from South Africa. "It was a good day for us. We moved up five places and were getting closer to the pace."
Glyn Hall, Teamchef and "Father of the team", said via SMS: "Well we had a great day all four Toyota Hilux performed perfectly. Duncan Vos found his feet and flew once he clered some slow cars. Giniel de Villiers was 2nd, 20 seconds off the lead 40 km before finish then lost time in river with mist on screen. De Villiers and Dirk vo Zitzewitz 4th for day, 3rd overall, Duncan Vos up to 14th and Lucio Alavarez 9th. Wil try to keet same pace, team all good and strong."
An encouraging feature of the race is that the normally aspirated, V8 Hilux's coped with the thin air at 3,400m above sea level without any noticeable loss of power. This could be vitally important in the next few days which constitutes the crossing of the Andes into Chile.
This a long and a cruel race and anything can, and often does, happen. There is no doubt however that the South African developed Imperial Toyota Hilux's are meeting the team's expectations on every day and under all circumstances. So far, so good.
It is interesting to note that after some seven hundred kilometres of racing the top three cars, a Diesel Mini, a Hummer shelled special vehicle and a Toyota Hilux are separated by 1:40 minutes, an incredible testament to the skill of the engineers who have arrived at the optimum package with very different configurations.
2012/01/04 | 13:46 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/FORTUNE/TWITTER