South Africa, December 2023 – Red Bull, the global energy drink brand synonymous with breaking barriers and redefining the norm, has done it again in ‘2 Wheels versus 4 Wheels’ — a race against the clock up the iconic Sani Pass. As the name suggests, this exciting showdown features two motorsports athletes from two wildly different disciplines – Giniel De Villiers, renowned for his four-wheeled Dakar Rally prowess, and Wade Young, the elite Hard Enduro racer who recently claimed his eighth Roof Of Africa title.
“It’s two very different mindsets,” explained De Villiers, talking about what it’s like switching gears from Rally Raid to the precision demanded by the short, intense ascent of the Sani Pass. De Villiers is currently preparing for the 2024 Dakar Classic. “In Dakar, you race for 14 days and about 500-600 km per day. The Sani Pass was a short blast up the hill, but you could not make any mistakes!”
Simultaneously, Young, who once again stamped his authority on the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’ in the Mountain Kingdom this year, approached the Sani Pass challenge with enthusiasm. Acknowledging the challenges posed by the pass, including high altitude and loose rocks. He shared, “I planned to analyse the track as much as possible and pick the best lines to carry as much corner speed as possible.”
De Villiers considered the project a rewarding experience in a stunning setting, and couldn’t help but tip his hat to Young’s skills. “Wade is a super guy and very talented and good at what he does,” he said. “It was nice to have a race with him up the pass.”
Young, pumped about the collaboration with De Villiers, gave props to the rally legend. Young shared: “Before I got to Sani, I thought I would have been faster than Giniel, but after I watched him do a practice run, I knew I didn’t have the upper hand as I thought. I pushed as hard as I could and couldn’t have ridden much faster than I did.” According to Young, the challenges of the Sani Pass, including a fast section on the side of the mountain and tight corners, added an extra layer of intensity to the race.
Catch all the action here on Red Bull TV and see how Giniel De Villiers and Wade Young’s collaborative venture transcended traditional racing boundaries, showcasing the diversity and skill required in both rally and enduro disciplines.
Published by: Refilwe Makamedi
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