DAK Roma consolidates fourth and De Villiers climbs to fifth on stage into San Juan

2017 Dakar Rally
January 1-14, 2017

Leg 10: Chilecito – San Juan
Special stage: 449km; Liaison sections: 302km


SAN JUAN (ARGENTINA) – Thursday, January 12: Overdrive Racing’s Joan Roma and Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers kept in the hunt for Toyota’s customary podium finish on the Dakar Rally by holding fourth and fifth positions in the overall standings after the 449km special stage between Chilecito and San Juan in Argentina.

Roma and navigator Alex Haro began the day behind the French trio of Sébastien Loeb, Stéphane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres. They dropped further time to their three rivals through the first section of the stage after navigational issues, although the Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux maintained fourth of the 63 cars that started the special. Roma eventually crossed the finish line in a time of 5hr 25min 57sec, which enabled him to consolidate his position in the rankings.

Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz enjoyed a strong stage and took advantage of the problems that befell Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen on section one of the special to move up from sixth to fifth in the overall rankings with the sixth quickest time on the day.

Dakar rookie Rautenbach moves up from 13th to 11th

Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach and his South African co-driver Robert Howie were once again running strongly inside the top 10 through the technical first part of the special in the second of the Toyota Gazoo Hiluxes. The Dakar rookie belied his lack of experience to record the seventh quickest time and move up from 13th to 11th in the rankings after problems befell Mikko Hirvonen and he managed to move in front of Mohammed Abu Issa.

The Dutch crew of Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar recorded the 12th quickest time of 5hr 36min 04sec in the second of the Overdrive Toyotas, while several of their rivals hit trouble, and reached San Juan in an unofficial 15th position, having started the day in 17th.

Alejandro Yacopini and Daniel Merlo began the day in 22nd and were unofficially placed in 19th in the results in San Juan with two of their main rivals still out in the stage.

The Chinese crew of He Zhitao and Kai Zhao survived the rigours of the previous 48 hours in the Boundless Yong Racing Toyota run by Overdrive Racing and began the 10th stage in 37th overall.

Additional support for Overdrive Racing comes from Power Electronics and Kappa clothing.


Following the cancellation of the ninth stage between Salta and Chilecito, which would have been the longest day of the entire rally, action resumed with a special stage of 449km and 302km of liaison between Chilecito and San Juan. The stage began to the west of the bivouac and was split into two sections. Warmer temperatures at the bivouac in San Juan were a far cry from the miserable weather conditions that had affected the event for several days in Bolivia and northern Argentina.

The penultimate stage of the Dakar on Friday (tomorrow) features a competitive section of 292km, split into two sections and starting to the south-east of San Juan, and around 467km of liaison between the bivouac and Río Cuarte. The day includes a run through the San Juan dunes, near the start, and is then characterised by more WRC-style flowing tracks in the Córdoba region, before the liaison to the overnight halt.


JOAN ROMA – Car 305
“It was the worst stage of our race but, hey, it’s part of the rally-raid game and that’s what we are playing. We knew this stage was all or nothing and it was going great until we got lost. Both Alex and I have confused ourselves. We both thought we had to turn left and it was like putting us against a wall we couldn’t cross. I think Alex is doing a great job, we had done everything very well. It also came after everything else that has happened in recent days. We have seen that after the rest day the engine had something wrong on the electronics side. At least we know now why we lacked some power. There were moments where I did not know if it was me. Today, Cyril (Despres) did very well and we did badly, so we have distanced ourselves a lot. It is difficult to aspire to the podium, because the gap is 35 minutes and the last two stages are very short. But, the race is not finished until you cross the finish line. We will see what we can do.”

2017 Dakar Rally –SS10 result (top 7 only):
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 3008 DKR 4hr 47min 00sec
2. Sébastien Loeb (FRA)/Daniel Elena (MCO) Peugeot 3008 DKR 4hr 54min 28sec
3. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 3008 DKR 4hr 57min 01sec
4. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU) John Cooper Works Rally Mini 5hr 06min 03sec
5. Orlando Terranova (ARG)/Andreas Schulz (DEU) John Cooper Works Rally Mini 5hr 07min 12sec
6. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (DEU) Toyota Gazoo Hilux 5hr 09min 48sec
7. Conrad Rautenbach (ZWE)/Robert Howie (ZAF) Toyota Gazoo Hilux 5hr 21min 23sec

2017 Dakar Rally – overall standings after SS10 (unofficial @ 23.00 CET):
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 3008 DKR 24hr 58min 43sec
2. Sébastien Loeb (FRA)/Daniel Elena (MCO) Peugeot 3008 DKR 25hr 04min 33sec
3. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 3008 DKR 25hr 24min 23sec
4. Joan Roma (ESP)/Alex Haro (ESP) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 25hr 59min 38sec
5. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (DEU) Toyota Gazoo Hilux 26hr 41min 37sec
6. Orlando Terranova (ARG)/Andreas Schulz (DEU) John Cooper Works Rally Mini 26hr 44min 04sec
7. Boris Garafulic (CHL)/Filipe Palmeiro (PRT) John Cooper Works Rally Mini 28hr 25min 17sec
8. Jakub Przygonski (POL)/Tom Colsoul (BEL) John Cooper Works Rally Mini 28hr 52min 23sec
9. Romain Dumas (FRA)/Alain Guehennec (FRA) Peugeot 3008 DKR 28hr 56min 26sec
10. Khalid Al-Qassimi (UAE)/Pascal Maimon (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR 29hr 23min 00sec
11. Conrad Rautenbach (ZWE)/Robert Howie (ZAF) Toyota Gazoo Hilux 29hr 24min 01sec
15. Erik van Loon (NED)/Wouter Rosegaar (NED) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 30hr 49min 56sec
19. Alejandro Yacopini (ARG)/Daniel Merlo (ARG) Toyota Hliux Overdrive 32hr 44min 37sec
TBA. He Zhitao (CHN)/Kai Zhao (CHN) Toyota Hilux Overdrive TBA

Jean-Marc Fortin (E-mail: jmf@overdriveracing.be), Overdrive S.A., rue de la métallurgie 37, 4530 Villers-le-Bouillet, Belgium, Tel: + 32 475 762 391. www.overdriveracing.be - Facebook group: Overdrive Racing




Date issued: 12/01/2017

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