Fourteen South Africans, spread across all four racing categories, will line up at the start when the 2016 edition of the Dakar gets underway on Saturday, 2 January. The prologue is a short 11 km sprint that determines the starting positions for the first real stage of the race on 3 January.
In the Car category 2009 Dakar winner Geniel de Villiers is again paired with German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz in one of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux V8 bakkies built by Glyn Hall’s Midrand based outfit. Current South African Donaldson Cross Country Champions Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie will be in a similar vehicle.
Two Century Racing CR5 buggies will be piloted by Mark Corbett / Juan Mohr and Colin Matthews / Rodney Burke while Dakar rookies Shaun Reitz and Riaan Greyling will be in a Red-Lined Nissan Navara V8.
The Bidvest Yamaha Team Rhide SA has three entries in the quad class. Dakar veteran Brian Baragwanath will be joined by Eddie Barbier and newly crowned SA champion George Twigge.
Kobus Pogieter (KTM 450 RR) is the only South African entered in the bike category although Wessel Bosman has entered again, this time under the flag of his adopted country, Lesotho.
Sean Berriman is South Africa’s sole representative in the truck category.