Toyota's De Villiers and Alvarez hold 2nd and 7th in Dakar Rally

Toyota's De Villiers and Alvarez hold 2nd and 7th in Dakar Rally

07.01.2013: ... after Pisco loop stage 35th Peru-Argentina-Chile (Dakar Rally) – January 5th-20th, 2013

... after Pisco loop stage

35th Peru-Argentina-Chile (Dakar Rally) – January 5th-20th, 2013
LEG 2 – Pisco to Pisco
Liaison 85km; Special 242km; Total – 327km

•    Overdrive’s Van Merksteijn, Malysz and Olholm in 18th, 23rd and 24th places

•    Duncan Vos rolls and holds 13th in second Toyota Imperial South Africa car

•    Defending champion Stéphane Peterhansel moves ahead with stage win

PISCO (PERU): South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers and Argentina’s Lucio Alvarez set the second and seventh times on the second loop stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally around Pisco in Peru and now hold similar positions in the overall standings in their Toyota Hiluxes.

On Sunday, competitors used an 85km liaison section to take them to the start of the 242km special stage at Ocucaje. The special featured numerous low-lying sand dune crossings around the Pisco bivouac. One hundred and fifty-two of the original 153 starters began the stage, which was shortened by 2.5km and passed through the Ica region, which was devastated by an earthquake in August 2007.

De Villiers started well in his Toyota Imperial South Africa Team Hilux and overcame a difficult dune passing after 75km to hold the virtual third fastest stage time at the third waypoint behind the French duo of Stéphane Peterhansel and Ronan Chabot.

That tricky sand dune at the 75km point cost several of the front-runners valuable time and De Villiers found himself running near the front of the field from then on. Peterhansel held on to take the stage win, with De Villiers finishing second and Chabot taking third position.

Alvarez and co-driver Ronnie Graue were the best placed of the six Overdrive Toyotas and now hold seventh in the overall standings, but there were delays for rivals Carlos Sainz, Joan Roma, Robbie Gordon and Guerlain Chicherit.

“It was a good stage for me today and we were running well up with Carlos and Nasser (Al-Attiyah), but I lost some time with two punctures,” said Alvarez.

The Polish duo of Adam Malysz and Szymon Ruta - partnered by their respective co-drivers Rafal Marton and Laurent Lichtleuchter – finished the special stage in 25th and 37th places and now hold 23rd and 36th in the overall standings. Ruta suffered gear selection problems and finished the stage in second gear and Malysz got stuck in soft sand for around 30 minutes, which spoiled his run.

Dutchman Peter van Merksteijn and Belgian co-driver Eddy Chevallier started the day in 16th overall and now hold 18th in the general classification. “We had a small navigational issue and then punctured a tyre on a rock,” said the Dutchman.

Australian Geoff Olholm and British co-driver Jonathon Aston slipped from 22nd overall to 24th in the Cairns Coconut Resort-supported Toyota after setting the 26th quickest time on the second stage.

Venezuelans Nunzio Coffaro and Daniel Meneses began the special stage from 146th overall after their electrical problems in the Team Azimut Toyota on the opening stage.  It was not  easy to battle their way through back-markers and the South Americans were driving superbly through the stage and held a virtual 29th at the sixth waypoint and had climbed back towards the top 50.

South African Duncan Vos and co-driver Robert Howie rolled the second Toyota Imperial South Africa car in the stage, but the Hilux landed back on its wheels and the crew were able to finish the stage in 13th place in the overall standings.

“It’s just good to get the rally underway and see all our drivers performing well on the stage,” said Overdrive team principal Jean-Marc Fortin. “Now we can look forward to the next stage to Nazca and the onset of even more difficult stages.”

Overdrive Racing has received additional valuable support from sponsors Toyota Belgium, Mistral, Donaldson Filtration and Michelin.

The Overdrive Racing Toyota chassis were built in Belgium in conjunction with Toyota Motorsport South Africa and Hallspeed and are powered by the 4.6-litre V8 engine that conforms to the latest FIA regulations. Overdrive is based at Villers-le-Bouillet, near Huy, in Belgium.

Tomorrow (Monday), the rally heads south from Pisco to the historic Peruvian desert town of Nazca, famous for its ancient geoglyphs in the surrounding desert.

A link section of four kilometres will precede a competitive course of 243km, with the cars, bikes and trucks using an identical route and then taking a liaison of around 96km to the bivouac in Nazca.

Overall positions after leg 2 – Lima to Pisco, 242km (@15.00hrs)

1. Stephane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Mini All4 Racing    3hrs 00min 20sec
2. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota Hilux        3hrs 02min 58sec
3. Ronan Chabot (FRA)/Gilles Pillot (FRA) SMG Buggy            3hrs 04min 06sec
4. Orlando Terranova (ARG)/Paulo Fiuza (POR) BMW X3 CC        3hrs 06min 46sec
5. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) Mini All4 Racing    3hrs 09min 53sec
6. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Lucas Cruz Senra (ESP) Buggy        3hrs 10min 45sec
7. Lucio Alvarez (ARG)/Ronnie Graue (ARG) Toyota Hilux         3hrs 12min 47sec
8. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL)/Filipe Palmeiro (POR) Mini All4 Racing    3hrs 14min 20sec

Other Overdrive Toyota entries:

19. Peter van Merksteijn (NED)/Eddy Chevallier (BEL) Toyota Hilux     3hrs 29min 20sec
23. Adam Malysz (POL)/Rafal Marton (POL) Toyota Hilux            3hrs 43min 11sec
24. Geoff Olholm (AUS)/Jonathon Aston (GBR) Toyota Hilux        3hrs 44min 05sec
36. Szymon Ruta (POL)/Lauren Lichtleuchter (FRA) Toyota Hilux        4hrs 02min 31sec
TBA. Nunzio Coffaro (VEN)/Daniel Meneses (VEN) Toyota Hilux        TBA

Other Toyota Imperial South African Dakar entry:

13. Duncan Vos (ZAF)/Robert Howie (ZAF) Toyota Hilux            3hrs 23min 00sec

- Neil Perkins,  also photos by Willy Weyens


07.01.2013 / MaP

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