Iveco Victorious in Stage 4 of The Dakar
Gerard de Rooy scored a triumph in the Trucks category with his Iveco Powerstar in the first part of the marathon stage of the world's most difficult rally race.
The Jujuy-Jujuy loop went very smoothly for the Dutch pilot and put two Iveco pilots in the Top 5 of the general.
On the first day of the 2016 Dakar Rally that did not present any weather-related complications, the Iveco team demonstrated its potential on Argentina's roads with a victory in Stage 4, a 419-kilometer special for Trucks in the northern part of the country. Behind the wheel of Iveco Powerstar #501,
the Dutchman Gerard de Rooy beat Pieter Versluis by 37 seconds and Hans Stacey by 1 minute and 18 seconds, taking full advantage of the last part of the special and putting the pedal to the metal in the final stretch. Another Iveco Powerstar, #514, driven by the Argentine pilot Federico Villagra, came in just 1 minute and 46 seconds behind the leader for 4th place.
Aleš Loprais and Ton van Genugten made it into the special's Top 10, taking 8th and 10th place, 5 minutes and 26 seconds and 6 minutes and 8 seconds behind de Rooy, respectively. With these placements, they are still in the Top 10 of the 2016 Dakar in the general classification.
The experienced Spanish pilot Pep Vila was finally restored to 13th place in yesterday's race, as opposed to 36th place as the organization had initially announced. Coming in 12th place today, 11 minutes and 59 seconds behind the leader, Vila currently sits at 14th in the general, more than a half hour behind the front-runner.
Today was one of the specials in this edition of the competition since it was a marathon stage. According to the rules, the pilots will not be able to work on their vehicles tonight; they can only work on them when they are on the connecting sections. The pilots from all four categories will park their vehicles in a closed facility tonight and any work done on their machines will be heavily penalized. This is very important because tomorrow they will cross over to Bolivia and go all the way to the Uyuni Salt Flats, so they will have to compete in two consecutive stages without the assistance of their support teams.
Stephane Peterhansel, the pilot with the most wins at The Dakar, won today's stage in the Cars category and is now in second place in the general. In the Bikes category, Paulo Gonçalves was the winner of the day and new overall leader, while Ignacio Casale continues dominating the general in Quads, even though Marcos Patronelli won today's timed section.