In a bizarre incident during stage 1 of the Dakar 2022 rally, Toyota driver Giniel de Villiers collides with motorcycle rider Cesar Zumaran, ‘flees the scene’ and is given a five-minute time penalty.
It’s an incident that has already been investigated by the FIM & FIA, where stewards have spoken to the rider regarding their dismay at the way that de Villiers continued to drive off after the collision.
The rider, Cesar Zumaran, hit the ground with his bike but was able to get back on his feet – appearing to wave the South African driver on.
Watch the Dakar 2022 car vs motorcycle incident here:
Speaking on the incident with his explanation of the events via his Instagram account, de Villiers said:
“During stage 1 of the Dakar rally we were involved in an incident with bike rider no 106. Whilst going up a very difficult steep narrow rocky sandy trail section our car got kicked to the left by a rock resulting in us hitting the back of rider 106’s bike, causing him to fall to the ground.
“There was enough space on his right to pass safely but unexpectedly our car was kicked to the left by a rock. We stopped immediately and reversed. The rider got up and indicated to us to pass by waving to us to go past which we then did safely.
‘We should have stopped to double-check if he was ok, but because he waved us by our understanding was that he was ok. I want to apologise for not stopping and also for the unfortunate incident. Rider 106 continued to finish the stage and is still in the race. I wish him a successful and safe race.”
It has been confirmed that Zumaran is okay, and finished the stage.
Despite the fact de Villiers is unable to refer to Cesar by name, he appears to be sincere in his apology – whether or not you think his excuse holds any merit or not.
The drama doesn’t stop there, either. Per Autosport, de Villiers is alleged to have run over the bike of a fallen rider, causing major damage and again failing to stop – going against the very merit of the Dakar, where participants are known to help each other out in serious problems.
“On Monday 3 January at 21:00, the jury spoke to rider #163 who reported a fall behind a dune during the second stage.
“It happened around kilometre 180 in the trial, it happened around 11:00 am. He was getting his bike upright when he heard a car approaching. He pulled over. The car went over the top of the dune and drove over the motorbike causing major damage.
“The motorcyclist could not read the number of the car.”