De Villiers: Death threats after Dakar bike crashes “upsetting” – Motorsport. com
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De Villiers ran over Chilean rider Cesar Zumaran on the second stage of the rally-raid on Monday, earning himself a five-minute time penalty for the collision.
This was followed by a second accident the particular same day, where the South African was unable to avoid the crashed bicycle of Mohamedsaid Aoulad Ali after coming down a dune.
The FIA stewards initially handed him a five-hour penalty for acting in an “unsafe manner”, leaving your pet out associated with the fight for overall honours.
However, de Villiers was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing after a protest by Toyota on Friday, putting him back to fourth in the standings.
Toyota was able to supply the exact GPS data of the car, which was not available to the stewards at the time the particular penalty has been handed.
Moreover, an investigation from Dakar’s Sentinel safety system provider ERTF concluded that the reception inside the car was “adequate but not optimal”, which could have caused the signal to be transmitted later.
It had been found that will the program warned sobre Villiers just two seconds before the particular collision, leaving him with little time in order to take action. Since he was able to avoid the motorcycle rider, t he FIA decided to withdraw the penalty .
While de Villiers said he was happy to close the particular chapter right after proving that he has been blameless within the second incident, the South African admitted that he was left deeply upset by the hatred he received online.
“The abuse you get upon social media and even death threats, it is incredible, ” sobre Villiers told Motorsport. com.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced something like that. I must say it’s not really pleasant.
“This is normally from people that don’t know the situation, they are not here. They are sitting at home and it’s very easy in order to comment on something when you don’t really know the facts. But still it’s quite upsetting to see this kind of thing.
“So from that will point of view I’m happy that this is behind us.
“We know we did absolutely everything to the maximum to not really run over this bike. It’s very difficult in the dunes, that people are behind the particular dunes. It can unfortunate.
“The investigation was not done properly [initially]. The good thing is the penalty is removed and we can race now, we are usually back in the race. ”
#304 Toyota Gazoo Racing: Giniel De Villiers
Photo simply by: Toyota Gazoo Racing Southern Africa
De Villiers has since offered in order to compensate Aoulad Ali with regard to the damage to his KTM as well as pay his 2023 entry fee after this individual was forced to retire from this year’s event.
While both Zumaran plus Aoulad Ali understood why he had been unable to avoid a crash, de Villiers says more could be done to improve the safety standards in cross-country rallying.
“I still think that we possess to try to improve the particular safety even more because if you have got bikes and cars racing on the same track in dunes like that, this is incredibly difficult, ” he stated.
“The Sentinel system on my car also didn’t work, which all of us complained about from the beginning associated with Stage 1 . We were delayed 12 minutes at the start of Stage 1, it was not working properly. So we did not really hear the particular alarm all the time.
‘They finally fixed that two days ago. They realised that this was no longer working properly, so we could not get a warning in any case within this situation.
“I was simply very fortunate that at the last minute I came over the dune to instinctively avoid him because there’s no way I could have seen your pet behind the dune.
“But the particular most important thing is that both the guys are fine. I spoke in order to both the bike riders plus they are usually very nice guys. I completely apologised to them regarding what happened.
“The first guy is in the particular race, he is a very nice guy. I spoke to him and this individual completely understands [the situation].
“And the second man, I feel sorry intended for him because his bike was damaged, he could not really continue. We will make sure that he has a bike for next year, fix his bicycle, and we all will pay for his entry.
“It’s the first time he or she did the particular Dakar and now he can not experience the complete race. Although It looked like the others furthermore drove more than the bike.
“We will make sure from our side we will rectify the problem and give this guy the chance in order to do the Dakar next year. Is actually the least we may do and that will be in the spirit from the Dakar.
“What is not in the soul of the Dakar is usually what occurred over the particular last couple of days and it’s unfortunate, but we try to put that behind us and try to focus. ”