De Villiers knocks two riders off and drives away

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Giniel de Villiers & his fellow Dennis Murphy has starred in two accidents at the Dakar Rally. His dangerous and unusual actions have taken place just two days apart at the Saudi Arabian competition.  

The first incident happened during the prologue stage of the Dakar routeJanuary 2nd. The South African driver was passing through a rocky and narrow stretch when he crashed against Chilean pilot Cesar Zumaran.  

The South American rider fell to the ground as a result of the car impact and quickly stumble to his feet to avoid being run over himself. Still in shock, he signalled the occupants of the Hilux to continue in their way, before falling down again, notoriously affected by what had happened.  

De Villiers, for his part, resumed on his way after having driven over the motorcycle. He was so unconcerned that he didn’t even came off his vehicle to check on his fellow contender 

“We were going up a very difficult steep narrow rocky sandy trail section. I was driving slowly when I saw the motorcyclist had stopped to the left of us. Our car then got kicked to the left by a rock resulting in us hitting the back of rider 106’s bike. Then I reversed” – Explained De Villiers as published in the Somos Dakar web. 

“When the rider got up and waved his arm at us, I interpreted he was indicating us that he was ok and for us to go past him. After leaving the motorcyclist behind I didn’t want to stop again because the track was very sandy and I was worried I might get stuck” – He concluded -. 

Outraged by what happened, Cristobal Guldman, head of the Zumaran team, has issued a formal complaint to the Dakar commissioners. Although De Villiers apologized to the Chilean rider at the end of the stage, he was given a five-minute sanction for not stopping to aid his South American ‘victim’. 

Following the events, the 2009 Dakar winner has been rightly and widely criticized. His recklessness and unsportsmanlike action contravene the regulations and the philosophy of the race, which obliges to assist a rival in distress.  

Giniel de Villiers knocks off a second rider! 

As incredible as it may seem, Giniel de Villiers starred in a similar incident just two days later. On January 4, during the second stage of the Dakar 2022, he was involved in yet another collision, knocking another motorcyclist off his bike with his Toyota. 

Mohamedsaid Aoulad Ali, a member of the Tuareg Adventure Club, was trying to lift his machine behind a dune when he noticed a vehicle approaching. In order not to compromise his safety or that of his rivals, Ali had activated the Sentinel, a mechanism that warns of the presence of another competitor. 

These precautions, however, did not stop vehicle number 207 from running over his KTM, rendering it unusable. The damaged caused was so great that the 163 could not take the start the following day. 

Replicating his irresponsible behaviour of the previous Sunday (48 hours earlier), De Villers continued on his way without stopping to aid the pilot. Fortunately, the Moroccan rider was not injured, as only seconds before, he had moved away from the area of the accident.   

The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) has now put the case in the hands of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), the body at the head of the Dakar, which is part of the World Raid Championship. It is now the FIA’s responsibility to study the case and make a decision regarding Giniel De Villiers’ X file. 

BREAKING: five-hour penalty

After studying the flagrant evidence, the Dakar stewards imposed a five-hour penalty on Giniel de Villiers and his co-driver at the last minute of Thursday, January 5. They consider that the omission of the duty of help and his “unsafe” manner of acting during stage 2 collision deserved a harsh and exemplary punishment.
In this way, the Toyota crew said goodbye to their podium options. They are now 5 hours, 49 minutes and 15 seconds behind the leader.

Images of Giniel de Villiers: Toyota Gazoo Racing.

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