“Not quite sure of the pace for the Dakar”
Leeroy Poulter is a bit of a motorsports wonder kid in South Africa. At age 6 he conquered his first motocross championship. At 16, after switching to karts, he again captured national glory. And that was just a start. Poulter soon made a name for himself in regular rallies on home soil while also competing in the European and World karting championships. With several off-road events under the belt, the next step up had to be the Dakar. Inspired by compatriot and 2009 Dakar winner Giniel De Villiers, the South African born in Johannesburg will be on the start line in a Toyota Hilux, the same car that Duncan Vos was driving last year. Alongside experienced co-driver Robert Howie, Leeroy knows that this first Dakar will be a learning experience before hoping for more glory in the years to come.
L.P.: “The Dakar was one of my dreams. After Giniel De Villiers' performances and seeing his results I thought about coming. I nearly came last year but things didn't go as planned. I was able to prepare thoroughly for this first experience with some testing in Namibia. Dirk Von Zitzewitz (De Villiers' co-driver) sat with me in the car and helped me to read the dunes. His experience is precious. The biggest thing for me is the dune. My goal for the first year is just to finish. I then hope for a Top 10 spot. I'm not quite sure of the pace I'll need to have during the Dakar. On regular rallies I drive full blast. Robert (Howie) might have to calm me down. He and I started racing together. We get on really well”