Toyota Imperial South African Dakar Teams have completed the stage one of the Dakar Rally 2015 on a good note today. Giniel de Villiers and German navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz in a car #303 recorded the fourth-fastest time of the day.
Leeroy Poulter and navigator Rob Howie, in the second Toyota Imperial Hilux (#327) finished 14th overall, after starting in the 27th position.
Stage 1 of the 2015 Dakar Rally saw competitors complete a relatively short stage of 170 km, which started just 144 km north of the Argentine captial, Buenos Aires. The short stage featured long straights with sharp turns and junctions on smooth surfaces, more akin to traditional rally routes than the vast open stages associated with the Dakar.
De Villiers/Von Zitzetwiz is only 01:12 behind early leader Nasser Al-Attiyah (MINI). Arengentine Orlando Terranova (MINI) is in second place, with the USA’s Robbie Gordon (Gordini Buggy) slotting into third, just eight seconds ahead of De Villiers.
Poulter and Howie, meanwhile, started at a blistering pace (2nd at the first checkpoint). However, they quickly caught up with one of the slower competitors ahead of them and got stuck in their dust for more than 140 km. As a result the pair recorded only the 14th-fastest time, though they have clearly shown that they are capable of significantly more.