Specialized, Red Bull, Oakley, Toyota, Duxbury Netgear, Innovation Grouphttp://toyotagazooracing.com/
2017: 5th (Toyota Hilux)
2016: 3rd (Toyota Hilux)
2015: 2nd (Toyota Hilux)
2014: 4th (Toyota Hilux), 1 stage win)
2013: 2nd (Toyota Hilux)
2012: 3rd (Toyota Hilux)
2011: 2nd (Volkswagen, 1 stage win)
2010: 7th (Volkswagen)
2009: winner (Volkswagen, 3 stage wins)
2007: 11th (Volkswagen, 4 stage wins)
2006: 2nd (Volkswagen, 1 stage win)
2005: 4th (2 stage wins, Nissan)
2004: 7th (1 stage win, Nissan)
2003: 5th (with Nissan)
2017: Dakar Series China Rally (18th), Kalahari Botswana Toyota 1000 (1st), South-African Offroad champion
2015 Morocco Rally (4th), Silk Way Rally, Morocco (twice), Transiberico, Dos Sertoes, Egypt, etc
Giniel De Villiers has never retired in 14 Dakars. Even better, he has only one result outside the Top 10 (in 2007), has accumulated 13 stage victories and won the rally in 2009, becoming the first winner on South American soil. But you can sense a little frustration from the South African. Always consistent but less and less competitive against the opposition and in particular Peugeot, Giniel began to drop off the past few years : 2nd in 2015, then 3rd in 2016 and 5th last year. The Toyota Gazoo driver returned to his South African roots this year to compete in and win the South African off-road championship ten years after winning his last title. The 45 year-old De Villiers who began his racing career in touring cars also got his share of dunes in competing in the Dakar Series China Rally, finishing a disappointing 18th after a run in with a damn rock. Along with co-driver Dirk Von Zitzewitz, he will compete with a new, lower, lighter and more powerful Hilux and the goal will be to compete with the Peugeots and fight for another victory.
I grew up on a farm and raced in everything I could find. It began at the age of 4 in a pedal kart. My dad loved motor racing and he passed the bug on to me. Then I got my start on the track in touring cars before switching to off-road. The 2017 Dakar was a huge disappointment. First we had a huge navigation problem before having some issues with the car. We were looking to race with a two-wheel drive Toyota but the programme was stopped. It didn’t work. We will have a new a mid-engine Hilux. The weight distribution has been completely changed. The car is lower and lighter and we will be able to take advantage of the rule’s change (38mm intake and 65 fewer kilograms). Additionally, we will have new tyres that really make the difference. I noticed a real improvement during the 4,000kms of testing I did. Without a turbo, we will continue to suffer at high altitudes. Peugeot is still the team to beat. This 2018 Dakar will be demanding right from the start with the dunes in Peru. I really liked it the last time we were there. I have thrilled there will be more off-road. And, I had the chance to put in some good preparation in the dunes on the China Rally. Now, I hope to win again, but to do that I will have to find the right pace and get lucky.”
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING SA
Giniel de Villiers has reacquainted himself with stage victory to win the special in Córdoba, the first time for him since 2014! The Toyota driver has beaten Stéphane Peterhansel by 40 seconds, Nasser Al-Attiyah by 41 seconds and Lucio Alvarez by 43 seconds for an especially close finish!
Le pilote sud-africain a gagné sur cette avant-dernière étape sa place sur le podium… The South African has gained a place on the overall podium on completion of the penultimate stage.
“It was a very tough day again, with a first part in the fesh-fesh, where we got stuck when I avoided a biker who had crashed. Our engine wasn’t...
The South African is bringing up the rear of the three Toyotas, which occupy 3rd, 4th and 5th position in the general standings.
“Nice stage. Quite hard, you know. You had to concentrate. It was a lot different to yesterday and the day before. There were a lot of stones and a lot of rios. For us, it was just a pity we had a couple...
On the face of it, they are not in the reckoning for stage victory, but Orlando Terranova and Giniel De Villiers are still well placed should there be an incident out in front. The Argentinean and South African are less than 3 minutes behind Stéphane Peterhansel at WP8.
With a start at 7.15 local time in the absence of the bike and quad special, the drivers had to be wide awake this morning over the first kilometres of the timed section. Giniel De Villiers seems to be the least sleepy at CP1 with a lead of 19 seconds over his team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah. Bernhard Ten Brinke is resisting well with the third best...
The South African driver finished second on the stage and lies in 5th place in the general standings.
“I didn't feel so well in the morning. I had a bit of a stomach problem. We just tried to do our best, tried to be clean. It was very difficult on the first half of the special to get going, but the second half was a little bit better. We had a puncture about sixty...
Giniel de Villiers has completed one of his best stages since the start. The South African has equalled his best result this year with second place at the finishing line, 8’46’’ behind Stéphane Peterhansel.
After going through CP1 just 1'43" behind Al-Attiyah, Giniel De Villiers is losing over 18 minutes to his teammate at km 103. The South African may come to rue this day depending on how the fight for the podium unfolds…
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