Giniel de Villiers handed a five-hour penalty after collision with a motorcyclist

Giniel de Villiers handed a five-hour penalty after collision with a motorcyclist

After a second collision with a motorcyclist, Giniel de Villiers received a five-hour penalty in the Dakar Rally overall standings, thereby eliminating him from contention.

In the 2022 Dakar event, the South African Toyota Gazoo Racing driver was involved in two separate incidents in stage 1 and 2 with two different motorcycle riders.

On Monday, the FIA issued a five-minute penalty to the 2009 Dakar Rally winner for striking Chilean César Zumaran at the top of a stretch pass and failing to stop to assist him, but the second penalty was considerably heavier.

In the second incident, De Villiers collided with Moroccan rider Mohamedsaid Aoulad Ali as he was going down a dune, and although avoiding the competition, he drove over his Morocco Racing Team KTM, rendering it useless, at roughly 11 a.m. local time on Monday during stage 2.

“We have not heard any alarm signal from Sentinel… We do not doubt that we have received a signal,” de Villiers said in a statement.

“The problem is that the button for the Sentinel is located on the floor of the co-driver’s side.”

“During the Selective Section, the co-driver’s feet jump back and forth and can easily, accidentally press the button. When we came over the dune, we saw the motorcyclist and I avoided him so as not to hurt him,” he insisted.

“At the bottom of the dune, we turned around to make sure that the rider was not injured. We didn’t feel hitting the bike when we landed. Then we continued the Selective Section.”

“We are very embarrassed that something like this happens. We apologize very much for this incident. We are also willing to compensate the cost to rebuild the bike”, the South African explained.

De Villiers and the Moroccan rider have agreed to split the costs of rebuilding the damaged bike and registering for the Dakar 2023.

Nonetheless, the FIA stewards ruled that De Villiers operated in an “unsafe” way, and he was handed a five-hour penalty overall under article 12.2.1.h of the International Sporting Code.

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