DAK Overdrive Toyota quartet safely into Argentina on Dakar Rally

35th Peru-Argentina-Chile (Dakar Rally) – January 5th-20th, 2013

For immediate release
Friday, January 11th 2013

LEG 7 – Calama to Salta
Liaisons 533km; Special 218km; Total – 751km


· Toyota Imperial South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers remains in a solid third place
· Frenchman Peterhansel takes first stage win to extend lead over Al-Attiyah

SALTA (ARGENTINA): The Overdrive Racing quartet of Geoff Olholm, Adam Malysz, Nunzio Coffaro and Lucio Alvarez safely negotiated the crossing of the mighty Andes mountain range and the first sinuous special stage in Argentina to retain challenging positions in the 2013 Dakar Rally on Friday.

Imperial South Africa Team driver Giniel de Villiers and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz set the fifth fastest time on the 218km special stage between Calama in Chile and Salta in Argentina to retain third in the overall rankings behind Stéphane Peterhansel and Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah.

After little sleep, the seventh day of the Dakar offered no respite for surviving teams as the Dakar caravan crossed the Andes mountain range into Argentina, via the Paso de Jama, on a sinuous 417km liaison section at high altitude. A 218km special stage, held entirely between 3,300 and 4,462 metres above sea level, followed and preceded the 116km liaison into the overnight halt in Salta.

Stéphane Peterhansel won his first stage of this year’s Dakar Rally by just 39 seconds from fellow Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit and the 10-time Dakar winner extended his advantage over Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah from 1min 18sec to 3min 14sec in the overall rankings. Al-Attiyah, driving a Buggy, had been in charge of the special for long periods before falling behind the French duo in the latter stages.

Alvarez and co-driver Ronnie Graue began the day in 20th place in their Overdrive Toyota Hilux and the 10th quickest time ensured that the South Americans reached the bivouac in a similar position to the one they held at the stage start.

Australian Olholm and British co-driver Jonathon Aston Cairns began the day in 15th position in the Cairns Coconut Resort-supported Toyota Hilux. The 18th quickest time on the high-altitude special enabled them to maintain their position in the general rankings.

The Polish duo of Adam Malysz and Rafal Marton hold 17th overall after setting the 19th quickest time on the day’s hard surface special. Venezuelans Nunzio Coffaro and Daniel Meneses were classified 19th in their Team Azimut Toyota at the start of the day and they also maintained their position into Salta.

Poland’s Szymon Ruta and French co-driver Laurent Lichtleuchter were forced to retire their Overdrive Toyota Hilux from the event after damaged sustained in an accident on the Arica to Calama stage.

The Overdrive Racing Toyota chassis were built in Belgium in conjunction with Toyota Motorsport South Africa and Hallspeed and are powered by the 4.6-litre V8 engine that conforms to the latest FIA regulations. Overdrive is based at Villers-le-Bouillet, near Huy, in Belgium. Overdrive Racing has support from sponsors Toyota Belgium, Mistral, Donaldson Filtration and Michelin.

Tomorrow (Saturday), teams continue their path through northwest Argentina and tackle a special stage between Salta and San Miguel de Tucumán, which will host Sunday’s traditional rest day for the first time. The route skirts the Andes mountain range and competitors will tackle a daunting 470km special stage in a day’s total route of 849km.

Used as a former base on historic Argentina WRC rallies, San Miguel de Tucumán plays host to the Dakar for the first time. It is the fifth biggest city in Argentina and was founded in 1565 by Spanish conquistador Diego de Villarroel.

Overall positions after leg 7 – Calama to Salta, 438km (@16.00hrs)
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Mini All4 Racing 16hrs 23min 43sec
2. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Lucas Cruz Senra (ESP) Buggy 16hrs 26min 57sec
3. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota Hilux 17hrs 07min 46sec
4. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) Mini All4 Racing 17hrs 12min 37sec
5. Guerlain Chicherit (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin(FRA) SMG Buggy 17hrs 40min 48sec
6. Ronan Chabot (FRA)/Gilles Pillot (FRA) SMG Buggy 17hrs 58min 34sec
7. Joan Roma (ESP)/Michel Périn (FRA) Mini All4 Racing 18hrs 02min 10sec
8. Bernard Errandonea (AND)/Arnaud Debron (FRA) SMG Buggy 18hrs 26min 01sec

Overdrive Toyota entries:
15. Geoff Olholm (AUS)/Jonathon Aston (GBR) Toyota Hilux 19hrs 34min 59sec
17. Adam Malysz (POL)/Rafal Marton (POL) Toyota Hilux 19hrs 58min 17sec
19. Nunzio Coffaro (VEN)/Daniel Meneses (VEN) Toyota Hilux 20hrs 30min 09sec
20. Lucio Alvarez (ARG)/Ronnie Graue (ARG) Toyota Hilux 20hrs 45min 08sec


For further information: contact Jean-Marc Fortin (E-mail: jmf@overdriveracing.be) or Scott Abraham (E-mail: sa@overdriveracing.be), Overdrive S.A., rue de la métallurgie 37, 4530 Villers-le-Bouillet, Belgium, Tel: + 32 475 762 391. www.overdriveracing.be



Date issued: 11/01/2013

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