Pickup trucks have several roles around the Goodwood Estate: down on the farm, patrolling the woodland, carting wheels and tyres to the circuit – and occasionally terrifying everyone on the Goodwood rally stage at very high speed…
So watch the video but remember one thing: this is a Toyota Hilux!
As you will have guessed, it’s no ordinary Hilux and no ordinary driver. It’s the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux Dakar, and the wheelman is Giniel de Villiers, one of the most successful Dakar racers of all time. Giniel won the self-proclaimed ‘world’s toughest motor sport event’ in 2009 and since 2007 has finished outside the top 10 only once, an extraordinary record.
Since teaming up with navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz and the South African-prepared Hilux in 2012, Giniel has had a string of Dakar podiums – including in this year’s event when the team came home third.
This in-car video was shot on the Goodwood rally stage during the 2013 Festival of Speed, but we reckoned it was worth digging out in honour of another exceptional result by such an accomplished driver.
The Dakar-spec Hilux has seen considerable development over the past five years – new engine and transmission, latest bodywork –and will doubtless be fettled again for next year and Giniel’s next attempt at capturing the second Dakar victory he and this amazing machine so richly deserve.
Meanwhile, with driving like this, Giniel and his pickup truck are welcome back at Goodwood any time they like.