South Africans show their worth at Dakar 2018
Dakar 2018 was the 40th edition of the gruelling annual event and – with 185 vehicles entering the race – provided all the thrills and spills for which it has become famous over the years.
Only 55 percent of the competitors, who set off from Lima, Peru, on January 6, made it to the finish line at Córdoba, Argentina, this past Saturday.
South African driver, Giniel de Villiers, won this final stage in his locally built Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux, while, overall, he finished Dakar 2018 in third position. Second place went to Nasser Al-Attiyah in the sister Hilux, and the winner was Carlos Sainz in the Team Peugeot Total vehicle.
Of the 19 trucks that entered the race this year, it was Eduard Nikolaev of the Kamaz-master Team who claimed his third Dakar title. It was Nikolaev’s eighth Dakar entry.
“Many thanks go to the fans for the support that we felt from the very start of the race. It was not easy. At some dramatic moments we thought that it was all over for our crew, but, fortunately, the vehicle and the entire crew kept going.
“For me, personally, it is a great source of happiness to win on the 40th anniversary of the Dakar and on the 30th anniversary of Kamaz-master Team,” Nikolaev was quoted as saying.
Crossing the finish line were another six South African racers – three racing in cars and three on bikes.