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Motorsport | Dakar Rally

De Villiers second in Dakar standings



South Africa's Giniel De Villiers settled in second position overall in the car standings after stage two of the Dakar Rally in Pisco, Peru, on Sunday.

The South African, who won the race in 2009 and took third place last year, was lying two minutes, 35 seconds (2:35) behind French driver Stephane Peterhansel, who claimed the 242km special stage victory.

Also in the car section, De Villiers's Toyota Motorsport teammates, Duncan Vos and Rob Howie, finished 14th after a narrow escape when they rolled their Hilux after cresting a sand dune too fast.

The pair were able to continue immediately, finishing more than 20 minutes behind the stage winners. They were left lying 13th overall.

“Sunday's special stage was more difficult than we expected," De Villiers said.

"It was very hot – 40 degrees Centigrade outside and 60 degrees in the car. Navigation was tricky, especially with the sun making it difficult to see the tops of the dunes.

“So I didn't go very fast in the first part of the stage, but then things got better."

Vos, meanwhile, echoed De Villiers's sentiments, adding that the rally would become even more difficult as competitors battled to overcome the elements.

“The day didn't go according to plan," Vos said.

"We struggled to climb a tall sand dune and on the third attempt we carried too much speed and crested the dune too fast, with the Hilux rolling end over end.

"Luckily it landed on its wheels and we lost very little time as we were able to continue straight away.

“It was extremely hot and there were many, many dunes. Overall we felt much better than last year, but the next couple of days are going to be very tough for everyone.

"We have to maintain a high level of concentration and keep pushing."

In the bike section, Darryl Curtis was the top South African, finishing the second stage in sixth place and jumping to seventh in the overall classification, 9:19 behind overall leader Joan Barreda Bart of Spain.

Curtis said he had clung to some of the faster riders in the race, who dragged him though to his best stage finish in the Dakar.

“My navigation is not good, so I'm going to have to latch on to the top riders again and try and hold on to my position," he said.

Curtis's countryman, Riaan van Niekerk, finished the stage in 38th place and was lying 33rd overall.

Brett Cummings was almost 40 places further down the list in 75th, settling in 79th position overall.

In the quad section, Sarel van Biljon completed the second stage in eighth place and remained eighth in the overall standings.

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