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Toyota Imperial team does well in Dakar

The Toyota Imperial team of Giniel de Villiers and Dirk Von Zitzewits came in second and fourth overall.

Toyota Hilux in the 2014 Dakar Rally. Picture: Supplied

DAKAR - Following the drama of day four in the 2014 Dakar Rally, the Toyota Imperial team of Giniel de Villiers and Dirk Von Zitzewitz hit back brilliantly on Thursday, finishing the fifth stage in second place to move up to fourth place overall.

Toyota Imperial team principal Glyn Hall said de Villiers would have won the stage were it not for small delays.

"Giniel had a great day. In fact he should have won the stage. He had a puncture at a very high speed and the tyre caught fire and that lost him some time. But it also damaged a rear brake caliper while it was on fire and it lost rear brakes.

The 2009 champion suffered from power steering problems on day four but made major strides on day five.

"For us as a team the big news is we didn't have any power steering issues."

Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie had another tough day, finishing the day in 36th and taking them to 30th overall, while Nani Roma's stage win has taken him back to first overall.

Rundle and Mohr came in 34th, placing them 20th overall.

In the bikes, Riaan Van Niekerk finished in fourth, to climb to 15th place overall. Brett Cummings came in 26th, putting him in 32nd overall.

The stage was scheduled to be close to 1,000 kilometres but was cut short due to threatening clouds.

"It was shortened because the clouds came out on the top of the mountain and the helicopters couldn't fly. So they didn't allow the bikes to go in there and it was so hot in the stage."

Meanwhile, Chris Visser, who's race was cut short during stage two after he rolled his Ford Ranger after it tossed over one of the treacherous Nihuil sand sandbanks and rolled heavily and was air-lifted to hospital, has fully recovered.

"The first day didn't start very well for us. I mean we were doing very well and then a wheel came off and we had to wait for a service truck.

"But I must say the second day was good for us up until we had that accident. Unfortunately I went a bit too fast and the car dipped its nose and we crashed."

Visser says he's has spoken to his team and he'll be definitely making his return to the race.

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