Hilux of Giniel De Villiers (#303 Imperial Toyota) drove aggressively and finished 2nd in the stage A total of four Hiluxes finished in the top 10 today

 

Only Competitors that Successfully Survive the Fesh Fesh and Soft Desert Sand Hear the Roar of the Spectators at the Podium Erected in the Center of IQUIQUE Especially for the Race.

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Competitors moved toward IQUIQUE, the northernmost bivouac in the Dakar 2015. Following a 322-km Liaison Section, they entered the SS (Special Section). The first half of the SS is a flat 69 km route that is easy to drive. After passing a 22-km neutralization zone (where drivers run at a set speed), they ran a route covered in fesh fesh*, that obscures potholes in the road. The last section is an approximately 10-km course in particularly soft sand desert. Although the distance is relatively short, a driver's technique is seriously tested in this stage.

GINIEL DE VILLIERS (#303 IMPERIAL TOYOTA) drove aggressively and finished 2nd in the stage, 37 seconds behind the first finisher. It must have been difficult to negotiate the soft sand, but GINIEL, experienced driver that he is, somehow managed. YAZEED ALRAJHI (#325 YAZEED RACING), who finished 2nd in yesterday's stage, was the first to enter the desert portion. He had to forge a path on his own and the machine got stuck resulting in lost time. He finished the stage in 7th, 8 min. and 15 sec. behind the leader. YAZEED said getting stuck the once was unfortunate, but it was difficult cutting a path in the desert without wheel ruts to follow.

With BERNHARD TEN BRINKE (#315 OVERDRIVE TOYOTA) finishing 6th and CHRISTIAN LAVIEILLE (#309 OVERDRIVE TOYOTA) in 10th, a total of four HILUXES including the machines driven by GINIEL and YAZEED finished in the top 10 today.

In the Production Car Category, the two Land Cruiser 200s of TEAM LAND CRUISER maintained 1st and 2nd positions in the category despite today's difficult conditions with fesh fesh dust and hidden potholes.

A brutal two-day marathon stage begins tomorrow. Minus assistant crews including mechanics, competitors, navigators and machines alone will head to the bivouac in UYUNI, Bolivia, and return to IQUIQUE the following day. This stage will severely test machine durability and competitors' driving, navigating and maintenance skills.

* The surface of the ground is covered in a fine dust (sand) described as talcum powder.  There is a chance that a tire can get stuck in a hole filled with this fine dust (sand).


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The View from the Cockpit of an Auto Category Vehicle is Just Like a Video Game!

TOM COLSOUL is co-driver to ace driver BERNHARD TEN BRINKE (#315 OVERDRIVE TOYOTA), who sits 5th overall with 6 stages completed. TOM was previously a co-driver in the Truck Category and was overall champion in 2012. This year, to try something new, TOM wanted to become a co-driver in the Auto Category. The high seating position in a truck provides a fine view. One gets a sense of stability because trucks do not easily get stuck thanks to their large tires. When questioned about being a co-driver in the Auto Category for the first time, TOM answered with some excitement, "First of all, the machine's speed is incredible. It drifts and jumps, and climbs dunes on the diagonal, completely different from a truck. I often feel as though I am in a video game." Supporting his driver and the HILUX with excellent navigation, TOM is enjoying his new challenge every day.