Iveco dominates Dakar, SA is on podium!
Yesterday was a challenging day at the Dakar; the teams had to deal with the sand and dunes that have made this event so notorious. But, for Gerard de Rooy and his Iveco Powerstar, it was just another day at the office, as the team cemented its lead in the truck category.
Yesterday’s leg of the Dakar connected the cities of Belén and La Rioja in Argentina. The mountains of sand in Fiambalá on this, the 10th stage of the race, ended the chances of many participants.
De Rooy had a great day, however, coming second on the stage – behind Pascal De Baar in a Renault.
The Kamaz trucks had major problems yesterday, finishing more than three hours and 30 minutes behind De Rooy, meaning that they have no chance of victory.
De Rooy now has a one-hour and 15-minute lead over his closest rival, the Russian Airat Mardeev, who is driving a Kamaz. Federico Villagra is third in an Iveco, Hans Stacey is fourth in a MAN and Ton van Genugten is fifth in yet another Iveco.
The highest placed South African at the Dakar is Giniel de Villiers who, together with his navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz, is third overall in his Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux.
Yesterday wasn’t plain sailing for the duo, who suffered a driveshaft problem mid-stage. They decided to change the shaft, losing nine minutes in the process. They also lost around four minutes when they got stuck after having to open the road thanks to the retirement of Carlos Sainz (Peugeot).
Peugeot driver Stephane Peterhansel leads the 2016 Dakar Rally, one hour in front of Nasser Al-Attiyah, who is driving a Mini. With his substantial lead, Peterhansel is, of course, the favourite to win overall, while Iveco is expected to win the truck category.
More than 1 000 km of racing lies ahead, however, and the Dakar has been known to deal up many surprises along the way …