still third at the „Dakar“

9. Januar 2013

Three-O-One style: Mr. and Mr. Reliable still third at the „Dakar“



Arica, 9th January 2013

It is their style. And it is successful. Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz, at the wheel of a Toyota Hilux, clocked the fourth fasted time of the day to defend their third place in the overall standings. The winning duo from 2009, renowned for their cool heads and calculated driving style, tightened its grip on the top-three position in typical Three-O-One style on the leg between Arequipa und Arica. After the final stage in Peruvian territory, Giniel de Villiers from Stellenbosch (South Africa) and his co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz from Karlshof (Germany) find themselves 33m 50s behind odds-on „Dakar“ favourites Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret in the X-raid Mini and their former team-mates Nasser Al- Attiyah/Lucas Cruz in a buggy. Avoiding punctures over the stony opening kilometres was the order of the day – a challenge that „Ginny“ and „Schnietz“ overcame successfully. Despite this, their journey through the canyons was not completely free of problems: De Villiers and von Zitzewitz had to allow the overheating brakes on the rear axle to cool down in order to be able to go on the attack again. Furthermore, they found themselves stuck in the dust generated by a fellow competitor out on the route in front of them. That all just serves to make the result all the more satisfying: they lost just 18 seconds on Peterhansel and Cottret, making up 4m 10s on Al-Attiyah and Cruz.

Compared to the previous days, the fifth leg of the „Dakar“ was a little less adrenalin-packed for the competitors. They were not faced by as many sandy dunes on the fifth stage between Arequipa and Arica. Instead, they encountered the infamous Fesh Fesh powder, known by the locals in South America as „Guadal“. Anyone who loses pace here is likely to find himself sinking. The only way out of this kind of situation is with torque, patience, and often plenty of digging. Having completed the stage, the drivers crossed the border between Peru and Chile.

The Quotes

„Compared to the previous legs, this was a rather unspectacular stage – but one on which you still had to pay attention. We tried, and managed, to avoid getting a puncture on the very rocky section at the start. Unfortunately our brakes overheated in the canyons and we had to let them cool down. We also lost time in Guerlain Chicherit’s dust. We only found our rhythm again once we had overtaken ‚Chichi‘.“

Giniel de Villiers über Etappe 04


„After three tough legs in the last few days, today was, as expected, a little easier. The route took us over a lot of rocks and through canyons early on. Apart from the standard minor problems, we found a good rhythm today and did well. We now have Peru behind us and are now faced with a short sojourn in Chile before we head over the Andes to Argentina.“

Dirk von Zitzewitz über Etappe 04


Results: Dakar Rally overall classification after leg 05

  • 01. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (F/F), Mini, 10:55.32 Std.
  • 02. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Lucas Cruz (Q/E), Buggy, 11:05.26 Std.
  • 03. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D), Toyota, 11:29.22 Std. 
  • 04. Leonid Novitzkiy/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS), Mini, 11:33.07 Std.
  • 05. Joan „Nani“ Roma/Michel Périn (E/F), Mini, 11:33.15 Std.


Coming up: Preview Stage 06



(Verbindung: 192 km, Prüfung: 229 km, Verbindung: 96 km, Prüfung: 129 km, Verbindung: 22 km)

(Connection: 192 km, special stage: 229 km, connection: 96 km, special stage: 129 km, connection: 22 km) Day six – all-out attack. The special stage between Arica and Calama, which is split into two parts, takes the competitors back into familiar territory, where they are reunited with the spectacular dunes in Iquique and the Atacama Desert. The „Dakar“ penetrates deep into the driest region on the planet. There is a bit of everything: „The first half of the special stage is dominated by sand and dunes, while the second heads through a lot of Fesh Fesh into the Atacama with its rolling hills and many rocks,“ says Dirk von Zitzewitz. Giniel de Villiers sees another major issue that could cause problems: „We are expecting a lot of dust, which will affect visibility. Particularly in the second half, the dust hides rocks that could damage tyres or the suspension. The Navigator is under particular pressure in the dunes – there are a lot of large and deep valleys between the dunes around Iquique. These can easily result in an error or heading off in the wrong direction.“ In short: one of the key stages on the 2013 Dakar Rally.

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

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
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 2013 the De-Villiers- von-Zitzewitz-Toyota combination enters the next round. In the meantime, he has achieved great success: this is reflected in ten 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.



„Dakar“ on TV

Wednesday, 09 January 2013
23:34 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 05, summary

Thursday, 10 January 2013
00:55 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 05, summary (re-run)
08:30 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 05, summary (re-run)
19:45 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 06, interviews at the finish line (live)

Friday, 11 January 2013
00:00 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 06, summary (re-run)
01:00 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 06, summary (re-run)
08:30 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 06, summary (re-run)
19:30 hrs Eurosport2 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 07, interviews at the finish line (live) 23:15 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 07, summary


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