Giniel De Villiers

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About Giniel

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South African-born Giniel de Villiers is the first ever winner of the Dakar Rally to hail from his country after he raced home to victory in 2009 with co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz.

Giniel began his career as a track racer and has four South African Touring Car titles under his belt including three in a row from 1997–99.

In 2001, he turned his attention to off-track pursuits, winning the South African Off-Road championship that year. Four years later, he joined VW and this bore fruit the following year with wins in the Rally Transiberico and Rally Morocco, as well as second places on the Dakar Rally and Tunisian Rally.

After hard luck forced him out of the 2007 Dakar with mechanical issues, the South African was back with a bang in the next Dakar in 2009 but 2010 was disappointing after only managing a 7th place finish overall.