South African Wins 31st Dakar Rally
South African Giniel De Villiers finished two seconds ahead of Russian driver Leonid Novitsky to win the 31st Dakar Rally this weekend. The two week race which is traditionally held in Africa was moved to Chili and Argentina this year because of concerns surrounding security in Mauritania which caused the cancellation of last years race. De Villiers finished the last 227 km stretch from Cordoba to Buenos Aires in one hour and 35 mins.
"I was so nervous in the last kilometres," De Villiers said.
"I kept looking at how many kilometres we still had to go.
"But I must say this is an incredible feeling."
De Villiers was handed the lead for the first time during the sixth stage when Qatari Nasser Al Attiyah was disqualified for failing to follow the official route.
He was overtaken the following day by Carlos Sainz but regained the lead on Thursday when the Spaniard crashed out.
De Villiers finished eight minutes 59 seconds ahead of Volkswagen team mate Mark Miller of the United States in the overall standings and one hour 46 minutes ahead of another American Robby Gordon.
Although security issues forced the re-location of the race, the Dakar lived up to its deadly reputation as it claimed the life of French Motorcyclist Pascal Terry who became the 26th death in the 31 year history of the race. He was found three days after he went missing from the race route.
British competitors Paul Green and Matthew Harrison suffered serious injuries after their car overturned in the first stage. Spanish biker Cristobal Guerrero was left in a coma after a crash in the 10th stage.