Dakar race: De villiers aims for a place on the podium and Cox wants to be in top five

2010-12-31 00:00

SOUTH Africa will have a strong representation in the 2011 Dakar Rally, which starts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on New Year’s Day with 180 motorcycles, 150 cars, 33 quad bikes and 67 trucks.

A number of South African-built Hallspeed Nissan Navara bakkies will be in action. One of these will be in the hands of Alfie Cox, former Dakar motorcycle hero from Cato Ridge, and his partner for the third consecutive time, German Jurgen Schröder.

As amateur team Cox and Schröder managed to move up to fifth place last year, threatening a number of the professional teams, before they landed the Nissan on its nose, damaging the oil cooler and forcing them into retirement.

“We tested the car in the South African Desert Race ... and we are very confident for this year’s Dakar,” Cox said.

Cox and Schröder will dedicate their race to the Cipla Miles for Smiles charity, where every R5 500 collected gives a child an opportunity to have facial reconstruction and treatment.

South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers, who has won the race before, will definitely contest a podium finish with fellow countryman Ralph Pitchford competing as co-driver to Mark Miller.

Another KTM motorcycle from South Africa will be ridden by Albert Hintenaus. Iain Stevenson, also from KwaZulu-Natal, who also trained under the guidance of Cox, will also race in his first Dakar with the aim of collecting money for the Cipla Miles for Smiles charity.

 

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