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Fri Apr 25 10:13:10 SAST 2014

Second place at Dakar Rally a miracle, says Giniel

Sapa | 23 January, 2013 09:260 Comments
2013 Dakar Rally - Day 15
Giniel De Villiers and co-driver Dirk Von Zitzwitz of team Toyota celebrate finishing second during the podium presentations at the end of the 2013 Dakar Rally on January 20, 2013 in Santiago, Chile
Image by: Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

South Africans should regard Giniel de Villiers' second place at the Dakar Rally over the weekend as a miracle, not a disappointment, the driver told a newspaper in a report on Wednesday.

He and his German teammate Dirk von Zitzewitz had recorded their Toyota team triumph after 8000 miles and 15 days of blood, sweat and intense focus, in 39 hours, 15 minutes and 1 second, he said.

In 2011, De Villiers and his team achieved a third place, Beeld reported.

This year, winners Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret, both from France, completed the rally in 38 hours, 32 minutes and 39 seconds.

The 2013 race, De Villiers’ ninth, started in Peru and ended in Argentina and Chile.

De Villers said that never, in his wildest dreams, had he thought he and his team mates would improve their position to second place.

“Yes, I realise that expectations were very high, but perhaps people should view our win in the right context ... it took Volkswagen three years to reach the podium and six years to win.

“If you compare the Toyota team’s budget with that of the Germans, this is a miracle,” he told the newspaper.

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Second place at Dakar Rally a miracle, says Giniel

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