Iveco and De Rooy Take Yet Another Step Towards Victory
During a special stage at very high temperatures between La Rioja and San Juan, the Dakar caravan continues to move towards its final destination in Rosario, with Iveco holding onto a big difference in the general classification.
Another day at the Dakar under temperatures above 40C (104F). The Bikes and Quads race was cut short, but Cars and Trucks moved on. Some of them are fitted with AC equipment, but others are not, and they are the true heroes of these hot past days.
Gerard de Rooy is leading the Trucks general classification. He started off the day 1 hour and 15 minutes ahead of the Russian Kamaz pilot, Airat Mardeev, and his goal was to reach the finish line without losing much time over his main competitor. And that's exactly what he did. In fact, after winning three stages since the start of the Rally and having established such big differences, he no longer needs to put his foot down if he feels that arriving close to his rivals is enough.
Today Mardeev drove only 5 minutes 58 seconds faster than De Rooy, thus bringing the lead in the general down from 1 hour 15 minutes 19 seconds down to 1 hour 09 minutes 21 seconds, with only two more stages to go. In turn, and despite having lost quite some time today, Federico Villagra’s Iveco Powerstar has further consolidated its 3rd position on the podium. One of this Dakar’s revelations is 1 hour 45 minutes 45 seconds from the lead with a 22 minute-and- 57-second lead over Ton van Genugten, now standing 4th in the general.
The Dutch pilot, another new member on Team de Rooy at the wheel of an Iveco Trakker, continues to show a great performance making steady progress across Argentinean territory. Van Genugten used Hans Stacey's delay and his Trakker's power to climb up to 4th position, thus placing three Iveco trucks among the Top 4 after adding the time results of all 11 stages.
In turn, Pep Vila remains focused on his goal to reach the Top 10 and is only one position behind to make it. His main rivals are Dmitry Sotnikov (10th, Kamaz) and Jaroslav Valtr (9th, Tatra). The Spaniard, who is participating in his twelfth Dakar and is in charge of the MotoGP logistics throughout the year, today finished 35 minutes 28 seconds from the lead, standing 11 minutes away from the Top 10 in the general.
Nasser Al-Attiyah was today’s winner in Cars, taking only 8 minutes away from the one-hour lead kept by Stephane Peterhansel in the general. Toby Price maintains a comfortable position in Bikes since, despite having lost the special by 18 seconds to Meo, is still leading 35 minutes ahead of Svitko. The Quads category remains in the hands of the Patronelli brothers and Alejandro’s victory today enabled him to come closer to Marcos at the end of the stage.
The 2016 Dakar is only two stages away from its end. This Friday Trucks will compete along a timed section of 267 kilometers, plus a 600 km connecting section (San Juan – Villa Carlos Paz). They will be arriving in Rosario on Saturday after 180 km of competition and almost 540 km of connecting section.
Results Stage 11