DAK Overdrive and Toyota Imperial teams look ahead to final week of Dakar Rally

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

For immediate release
Sunday, January 13th 2013

San Miguel de Tucumán - Rest day


· Toyota Imperial South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers maintains third overall
· Frenchman Peterhansel leads by 3min 14sec from Al-Attiyah on Dakar rest day

SAN MIGUEL DE TUCUMÁN (ARGENTINA): The Overdrive Racing quartet of Geoff Olholm, Adam Malysz, Nunzio Coffaro and Lucio Alvarez safely reached the rest day of the 2013 Dakar Rally in San Miguel de Tucumán in 15th, 17th, 19th and 20th positions and can now look ahead to the final six special stages of the world’s toughest off-road rally through Argentina and Chile next week.

Toyota Imperial South Africa Team driver Giniel de Villiers and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz reached the rest day in third overall, albeit 44min 03sec behind the leader Stéphane Peterhansel. “It was quite a challenging stage yesterday,” admitted De Villiers. “We didn’t get stuck in the water. We simply couldn’t cross. It was over 1.5 metres deep and we saw the water flowing down towards us.

“In 2009, we reached the rest day in third overall and, a few days later, we took the lead and went on to win the Dakar. That proves that anything is possible in this race. We need to concentrate on every second to make it count. We cannot afford to make big mistakes.”

Peterhansel and Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah were both awarded the time of 2hrs 07min 21sec for the eighth stage and the Frenchman maintained his overall advantage of 3min 14sec at the rest day.

Race officials at the ASO decided to allocate the time of the last car to pass the infamous river crossing – that of Stéphane Peterhansel in fourth position – to all the remaining competitors on the stage. Therefore, Guerlain Chicherit was handed the stage win and all the Toyota teams were given Peterhansel’s stage time of 2hrs 07min21sec.

Lucio Alvarez and co-driver Ronnie Graue arrived at the bivouac at around 22.00hrs on Saturday night and were in need of the rest day. In high temperatures, and with extreme humidity, the Argentineans had overcome stages covered in very heavy sand and then reached areas of choking mud, before arriving at the notorious river crossings.

“After the first one, there was another river crossing,” said 20th-placed Alvarez. “But, at the moment we arrived, the water was rising and we could clearly see three waves. It was impossible to cross. We were there with Nasser and Giniel, some quads and bikes. A helicopter came and signalled to us that the race had been neutralised. We waited a bit, the river calmed down and, then, we were able to cross and continue until the finish line of the special stage. What a day!”

Australian Geoff Olholm and British co-driver Jonathon Aston remain within striking distance of the top 10 in the Cairns Coconut Resort-supported Toyota Hilux. They will start the final week in 15th overall.

The Polish duo of Adam Malysz and Rafal Marton are more than capable of climbing from 17th position on the remaining six Dakar stages and Venezuelans, Nunzio Coffaro and Daniel Meneses, hold 19th overall in the Team Azimut Toyota.

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 (Monday), teams leave San Miguel de Tucumán to tackle the longest special stage of the entire event to Argentina’s second city of Cordoba in the north-centre of the country. The day’s tiring and varied 593km competitive section will be sandwiched between two liaisons totalling 259km.

Overall positions after leg 8 – San Miguel de Tucumán rest day
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Mini All4 Racing 18hrs 31min 04sec
2. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Lucas Cruz Senra (ESP) Buggy 18hrs 34min 18sec
3. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota Hilux 19hrs 15min 07sec
4. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) Mini All4 Racing 19hrs 19min 58sec
5. Guerlain Chicherit (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin(FRA) SMG Buggy 19hrs 35min 54sec
6. Ronan Chabot (FRA)/Gilles Pillot (FRA) SMG Buggy 20hrs 05min 55sec
7. Joan Roma (ESP)/Michel Périn (FRA) Mini All4 Racing 20hrs 09min 31sec
8. Orlando Terranova (ARG)/Paulo Fiuza (POR) BMW X3 CC 20hrs 29min 29sec
9. Bernard Errandonea (AND)/Arnaud Debron (FRA) SMG Buggy 20hrs 33min 22sec
10. Carlos Sousa (POR)/Miguel Ramalho (PRT) Great Wall 20hrs 38min 33sec

Overdrive Toyota entries:
15. Geoff Olholm (AUS)/Jonathon Aston (GBR) Toyota Hilux 21hrs 42min 20sec
17. Adam Malysz (POL)/Rafal Marton (POL) Toyota Hilux 22hrs 05min 38sec
19. Nunzio Coffaro (VEN)/Daniel Meneses (VEN) Toyota Hilux 22hrs 37min 30sec
20. Lucio Alvarez (ARG)/Ronnie Graue (ARG) Toyota Hilux 22hrs 52min 29sec


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: 13/01/2013

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