Rally Dakar Stage 3

7. Januar 2014

Hang on in there! ‚GdV‘ and ‚DvZ‘ remain in sixth at the “Dakar”


San Juan, 07 January 2014 “Dakar” drama in the face of everything: Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz remain within striking distance of the leading group at the Dakar Rally. On the third day of the unrelenting motorpsport marathon “GdV” and “DvZ” ensured sixth position in the overall standing with a 13th-place finish on the day. The third section between San Rafael and San Luis was full of surprises. The course was characterised by flat tyres, not only for #302 but for their opponents as well. Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz were twice faced with such problems during the exacerbated conditions. The automatic jack packed in and the Toyota Hilux, “made in South Africa” had to be jacked up by hand. The duo of de Villiers/von Zitzewitz lost six minutes on both occasions, after the second lot of tyre damage at around the 110-kilometre point of the 301-kilometre-long stage, the pair had to proceed without a spare tyre. The Dakar paradox: despite the flat tyres, they are still in the fight for a podium finish. After three days, they trail highly-fancied “Dakar” favourite Stéphane Peterhansel in the Mini by just two minutes. Joan Roma now leads the “Dakar” after his stage victory ahead of two of his Mini team-mates.

On the third day of the Dakar Rally, the route headed into the shadow of the mighty Aconcagua in the Andean foothills – before reaching serious heights. On several occasions the competitors had to contend with narrow tracks at altitudes of around 3,000 metres. A stony surface with wayside vegetation and deep gullies caused by washouts characterised the day’s racing. A steep initial climb was followed by lightning downhill race into the valleys which provided a quicker tempo.



“Today’s dramatic racing has plainly demonstrated that anything can happen at the Dakar Rally. Clearly we could have had a little more luck, but we could also have lost more time. Because the jack wasn’t working properly, we incurred significant time losses with both our punctures, but our opponents also sacrificed time. From the 110-kilometre points onwards, we drove very carefully – in light of this situation, today’s result is really rather good. We are still in business, as anything is possible in the coming days.”

Giniel de Villiers after stage 03

“Who could have guessed that the hydraulic jack wouldn’t play along? Today we were forced to fall back on the manual jack, which needs to be removed from the car first. An operation such as this naturally wastes a lot of time. However, when you compare our times with our opponents, we won some and lost others. This year’s Dakar route is pretty mad. I can only recommend continuing to follow the rally otherwise you’re bound to miss something.”

Dirk von Zitzewitz after stage 03

Results: Dakar Rally overall classification after leg 03


01. Joan Roma/Michel Périn (E/F), Mini, 9h 20m 13s

02. Orlando Terranova/Paulo Fiuza (RA/P), Mini, 9h 29m 19s

03. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Lucas Cruz (Q/E), Mini, 9h 30m 13s

04. Carlos Sainz/Timo Gottschalk (E/D), SMG, 9h 46m 36s

05. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (F/F), Mini, 9h 44m 21s

06. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D), Imperial Toyota, 9h 46m 36s

07. Christian Lavielle/Jean-Pierre Garcin (F/F), Haval, 9h 51m 36s

08. Krzysztof Hołowczyz/Konstantin Zhiltsov (PL/RUS), Mini, 9h 54m 09s

Coming up: Stage 04 preview

San Juan–Chilecito (liaison: 43 km, special stage: 657 km, liaison: 167 km)

Marathon men to the fore: since the Zouerat–Tichit section in 2005, there hasn’t been a stage as long this until now on the fourth day of Dakar 2014. Multiple valleys, where competitors risk losing their orientation and deep fords are the factors which will afflict drivers and co-drivers in equal measure. This stage is a story in two parts: the first crosses open desert and serves up a lot of dust not to mention pot holes and washouts and vegetation is sparse. The second part is characterised by mountain passes and quick sections, before becoming increasingly stony. Whoever manages to complete the stage without suffering a puncture, will have either been too slow and cautious or will end up way out in front.

Three-O-One, in the driving seat: Giniel de Villiers


If awards were given out for versatility in motorsport, Giniel de Villiers would be a hot favourite to pick up the special prize for lifetime achievement. The likeable, down-to-earth racing driver from Stellenbosch in South Africa won five national touring car titles in South Africa, defeating his subsequent Team Principal in the Volkswagen works team Kris Nissen and other top European stars on the way, before switching to marathon rallying. Giniel de Villiers describes himself as an “outdoorsy person”, who loves being in the fresh air. Whether on a jet ski or a mountain bike, de Villiers is always looking for action. However, in both his sporting and private lives, intelligent discretion is one of the real hallmarks of “Ginny”. As such, his second career away from tarmacked roads and permanent racetracks has also been a distinguished one: together with his co-driver at the time, Tina Thörner (S), he finished second at the 2006 Rally Dakar with Volkswagen – a milestone, as this was at the time the highest place ever achieved by a pair in a diesel-powered vehicle. His big breakthrough came when the Rally Dakar made its debut outside of the Black Continent in 2009: with co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz at his side, the pair achieved a historic success: the first victory by an African, the first in a diesel car, and the first ever win in South America.


Three-O-One, calling the shots: Dirk von Zitzewitz


Dirk von Zitzewitz has literally been at home in the navigator’s seat since he took his first breath: the German was born in precisely the spot, in which he has enjoyed his greatest sporting success – in the passenger seat. The co-driver from Ostholstein is regarded as one of the best in his profession. In 2009, he and his driver Giniel de Villiers won the first Dakar ever to be held in South America. New territory? For Dirk von Zitzewitz, the terrain away from tarmacked roads is the perfect place to demonstrate his natural, instinctive talent for finding the right way. His success and reputation are no fluke: even as a teenager, Zitzewitz used to play ‘Dakar’ with a friend and a rickety old moped. Back then, the event was still establishing itself and was yet to develop the international prestige it enjoys today. Despite this, it still cast a spell on the off-road enthusiast from north Germany. Dirk von Zitzewitz won the German Enduro Championship title on 15 occasions, before going on to compete in three Dakars on a motorbike. As a co-driver to a number of different drivers, he has competed in the mother of all desert rallies every year since 2002. In 2012 Zitzewitz came full circle: it was ten years since he made his first appearance in a car – again a privately run Toyota. In 2014 the De-Villiers-von-Zitzewitz-Toyota combination enters the third round. In the meantime, he has achieved great success: this is reflected in eleven podiums – five of which were victories – 33 stage wins and 31 days leading events in a car. As such, Dirk von Zitzewitz is already one of the most successful co-drivers of all time on the marathon rally scene.


The “Dakar” on TV


Tuesday, 07 January 2014

23:00 hrs Eurosport 2014 Dakar Rally, 03rd leg, highlights


Wednesday, 08 January 2014

00:15 hrs Eurosport2 2014 Dakar Rally, 03rd leg, highlights

01:00 hrs Eurosport 2014 Dakar Rally, 03rd leg, highlights

09:00 hrs Eurosport 2014 Dakar Rally, 03rd leg, Tuesday highlights (re-run)

10:00 hrs Eurosport2 2014 Dakar Rally, 03rd leg, Tuesday highlights (re-run)

13:00 hrs Eurosport2 2014 Dakar Rally, 03rd leg, Tuesday highlights (re-run)

23:00 hrs Eurosport 2014 Dakar Rally, 04th leg, highlights


Thursday, 09 January 2014

00:15 hrs Eurosport2 2014 Dakar Rally, 04th leg, highlights

01:00 hrs Eurosport 2014 Dakar Rally, 04th leg, highlights

07:30 hrs Eurosport2 2014 Dakar Rally, 04th leg, Wednesday highlights (re-run)

09:00 hrs Eurosport 2014 Dakar Rally, 04th leg, Wednesday highlights (re-run)

10:00 hrs Eurosport2 2014 Dakar Rally, 04th leg, Wednesday highlights (re-run)

11:00 hrs Eurosport 2014 Dakar Rally, 04th leg, Wednesday highlights (re-run)

13:00 hrs Eurosport2 2014 Dakar Rally, 04th leg, Wednesday highlights (re-run)

23:00 hrs Eurosport 2014 Dakar Rally, 05th leg, highlights


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