Iveco’s stage podium in its return to action
Stage 9 of the 2015 Dakar edition took place today between the cities of Iquique and Calama, in Chile.
Getting back on track after the rest day, Gerard de Rooy’s Iveco Powerstar arrived 3rd after the Kamaz trucks of Mardeev and Nikolaev, only 7m05s from the lead.
The Dakar 2015 convoy began their return to Buenos Aires, the starting point of the Rally on January 4th and the finish line next Saturday the 17th.
The last timed sections on Chilean soil took place today during Stage 9 between Iquique and Calama: throughout the 450 km, altitudes varied from 600 meters up to more than 3,000 meters above sea level which marked the end of the stage.
Gerard de Rooy was once again Iveco’s fastest performer with his Iveco Powerstar, taking the third position on the podium after Mardeev and Nikolaev, both at the wheel of a Kamaz. The Dutch pilot arrived only 7m05s behind the leader, after more than five hours of competition.
Hans Stacey, Iveco’s best-positioned pilot in the overall ranking after Gerard de Rooy’s delay in Stage 4, had another very smooth performance finishing 6th, 25m22s behind the leader: he has four more days to make it into the 2015 Dakar Top Five.
In turn, Pep Vila remained far behind losing 1h30m: it caused him to fall to the 24th position in today’s stage and to the 11th in the overall ranking, this time being surpassed by his team mate Gerard de Rooy, who continues to advance at top speed each day at a leader’s pace.
Tonight the competitors will spend their last night in a Chilean campsite since the tenth special stage will start from Salta, in Argentina. Tomorrow, the trucks will travel 358 km along dirt, gravel, sand and even asphalt in a varied and rather comprehensive stage.