SA’s Giniel de Villiers retains second place in Dakar Rally

2015-01-07 10:40

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South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz finished second in stage three of the Dakar Rally today, retaining their second place overall.

The stage was won by Argentinian Mini drivers Orlando Terranova and Bernardo Graue. De Villiers’ Toyota Imperial Team SA finished less than two minutes behind them.

Overall race leaders Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar and his teammate Frenchman Mathieu Baumel finished stage three in fifth place, narrowing the gap between the top two teams overall to five minutes 18 seconds.

Toyota’s other South African team of Leeroy Poulter and co-driver Robert Howie, finished 52nd, dropping 10 places to 21st overall, while Nissan driver Johan van Staden and his partner Mark Lawrenson improved with their 36th place stage finish, moving up four spots to lie 37th overall.

Leading South African biker, Riaan van Niekerk finished the stage in 20th place and moved to 15th overall. Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort heads the bike standings overall.

South African quad rider Hannes Saaijman is 21st in his category after finishing 39th, 20th and 22nd in the three stages.

The off-road endurance race, formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, moved to South America in 2009 and runs through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. The 14-day rally finishes in Buenos Aires on January 17.

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