Imperial Toyota South African Dakar Team has brought home a trophy after successfully completing stage 13 of the Dakar Rally 2015. Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz received their trophies for second place.
When the dust finally settled over the final stage of Dakar Rally 2015, it was Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah who took the win – just 35:34 ahead of the Imperial Toyota team.
It was a trophy earned hard on the reckless rally roads of Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia. Competed over more than 9,000 km, the edition of the legendary Dakar Rally 2015 saw competitors from across the planet take part on motorcycles, quad bikes, in trucks and purpose-built racecars.
The Imperial Toyota SA Dakar Team had been more prepared than ever before, heading into the Dakar Rally 2015, but questions remained about the high altitude performance of the naturally aspirated V8 engine in the Imperial Toyota Hilux versus that of the turbo-diesel machines fielded by some of the other teams.
However, the team from South Africa prevailed and proven Hilux toughness beyond any doubt; nipping at the heels of the eventual winner Nasser Al-Attiyah through the mammoth race and scooping a podium position (second) overall.
De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz (#303) were in a position to challenge for the lead early in the race, but their navigational gamble, together with moments of pure bad luck, saw them losing ground over Al-Attiyah, rather than making it up.