Three-O-One moves into third place overall

8. Januar 2013

On the up: Three-O-One moves into third place overall

 

 

 

Arequipa, 8th January 2013

Dunes, dust and rocks: Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz came through the most difficult stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally so far with flying colours, making up ground in the overall standings in the process. The South African and his German co-driver clocked the fourth fastest time on day four of the “Dakar”, which featured 288 kilometres of special stage on the route between Nazca and Arequipa. Their efforts also saw them climb into third place overall. The winning duo from 2009 enjoyed a flawless day in their office for the two weeks of the rally – the cockpit of the Three-O-One Toyota Hilux – and refused to be thrown out of their stride by the perilous, fine sand of the dunes, in which many experienced “Dakar” campaigners floundered during the 2012 event.

A combination of a steady pace and excellent navigation across the challenging terrain saw de Villiers/von Zitzewitz record top-5 times at all the checkpoints throughout the special stage, fully deserving a pat on the back at the end of a focussed day at the office, which had seen the duo climb a place in the overall standings before they even took to the route. After “Race Officials” at the “Dakar” relegated their rivals and former team-mates Carlos Sainz and Timo Gottschalk from fifth to tenth place, “Ginny” and “Schnietz” moved up from sixth to fifth place overall and started the day 30.22 minutes behind the leaders and favourites Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret in the X-raid Mini. By the end of the first section of the fourth stage, de Villiers and von Zitzewitz had climbed to fourth place, and their day got even better when they leapfrogged ahead of Mini duo Leonid Novitzkiy and Konstantin Zhiltsov into third place. Four stages into the “Dakar”, car number Three-O-One is now 33.22 minutes behind the lead.

The Quotes

“Today was definitely the most difficult leg of the 2013 ‘Dakar’ so far. The stage was extremely demanding: stony, dusty, and full of potholes, corners and ridges. We really had to eat dirt today, but can be very happy with the end result. Dirk did a great job with the navigation, and I am also very happy with the set-up of our Toyota Hilux. Tomorrow we leave the difficult dunes behind us, but the fifth stage will still demand full concentration from us again.”

Giniel de Villiers after leg 04

“The ‘Dakar’ showed its teeth on the third leg. They were certainly a good deal sharper today. Generally speaking, however, it was a very good day for us. The brakes did overheat a little at one stage, but Giniel stayed calm and we were able to push off again afterwards. Navigating was anything but easy today, but our meticulous preparation really paid off.”

Dirk von Zitzewitz after leg 04

 

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Result: Dakar Rally overall classification after leg 04

  • 01. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (F/F), Mini, 9:04.29 Std.
  • 02. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Lucas Cruz (Q/E), Buggy, 9:09.45 Std.
  • 03. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D), Toyota, 3:37.51 Std.
  • 04. Leonid Novitzkiy/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS), Mini, 9:38.17 Std.
  • 05. Joan “Nani” Roma/Michel Périn (E/F), Mini, 9:43.35 Std.

Coming up: Preview Stage 05

Arequipa–Arica (liaison: 284 km, stage: 172 km, connection: 53)
Could this stage be an opportunity to catch a breather? At least there are fewer sandy dunes on the menu for the fifth leg between Arequipa and Arica. Instead of this, however, the competitors are faced with the infamous fesh-fesh powder, known by the locals as “Guadal”. “The danger is hidden in the dust,” says Giniel de Villiers. “A lot of rocks and boulders are lurking, concealed beneath the layer of powder.” His navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz adds: “Today you must once again be really on the ball, as the amount of dust means you are driving blind for large sections. In these conditions, it is easy not to see a stone or to veer off in the wrong direction. This makes it all the better that bikes and cars are on different routes for the special stages. Furthermore, we will also have a lot of canyons to cross tomorrow, so there will be some spectacular images.”

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

Tuesday, 08 January 2013
01:00 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 03, summary (re-run)
08:30 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 03, summary (re-run)
17:15 hrs Eurosport2 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 04, interviews at the finish line (live) 23:15 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 04, summary
Wednesday, 09 January 2013
01:00 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 04, summary (re-run) 08:45 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 04, summary (re-run) 23:35 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 05, summary
Thursday, 10 January 2013
01:00 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) 24:00 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 06, summary
Friday, 11 January 2013
01:00 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 06, summary (re-run)
08:30 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 06, summary (re-run)
19:45 hrs Eurosport2 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 07, interviews at the finish line (live) 23:15 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 07, summary
Saturday, 12 January 2013
01:00 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 07, summary (re-run)
19:15 hrs Eurosport2 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 08, interviews at the finish line (live) 23:00 hrs Eurosport 2013 Dakar Rally, leg 08, summary

 

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