Dakar2020 | De Villiers on Stage 2 win: 'We needed to get back into the game'

Image: MotorPress
Image: MotorPress

Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa driver Giniel de Villiers praised co-driver Alex Haro's navigational skills after the duo won the second stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

The win saw them move into the top ten of the general classification. 

The former Dakar winner turned around a disastrous first day of the race in which he suffered four punctures.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa pair were in 14th position at the end of the first stage. 

Speaking to Wheels24's Sean Parker De Villiers said: "Yesterday (Monday) we had a really bad day, four punctures and I just had to survive to get to the end and had 120km without any (spare) tyres.

"But that's the way it goes in the Dakar."

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The 47-year-old driver, who has completed 16th straight Dakar Rallies, said: “We knew he’d have to make up the lost time just to get back into the game, we certainly managed to do that. We’re not too far off the lead, something like twelve minutes, which is really (puts us) back in the game and a lot more things are still going to happen in the race.

"But Alex did a great job today with the navigation, it’s always difficult. Otherwise we had a smooth run, no problems only stopping for two minutes to give (team mate) Bernhard (Ten Brinke) a tyre.” 

The next best-placed Toyota Gazoo Factory team was Nasser Al-Attiyah in fifth place. 

Argentinean Mini driver Orlando Terranova leads the general classification in the car section with Carlos Sainz in the X-Raid JCW Mini in second and Al-Attiyah in third, six minutes and seven seconds behind the leader. 

De Villiers will be the first car on the stage tomorrow to complete 504km-long run that starts and ends in Neom.

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