Stage 9, cancelled
The Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco trucks went straight to the bivouac in Chilecito, as the ninth special of 2017 Dakar was suspended due to complications and delays generated by the avalanche in the liaison route during Tuesday.
World’s toughest Rally Raid is suffering the harshness of the weather in summer in South American’s mountains. Almost in every race the organisation is forced to cancel a part of a stage, but in the current edition, 1.395 kilometres have been already lost, and all of them in only five of the nine stages.
An avalanche in Route 9, liaison part for the caravan, in the province of Jujuy, blocked the road and vehicles and assistance could not make it to the bivouac in Salta. Organisation did not have much choice and cancelled the special, letting drivers and teams to make their way safely to Chilecito’s campament.
With only a 57% of the race run, the Iveco Powerstar keeps battling for the lead and is placed in the third spot of the podium, only 2m20s behind leader Dmitry Sotnikov. This gap can change dramatically in only one special, so Dakar’s last winner is confident in repeating the win.
“I am third, two minutes back. That’s hardly any time at all”, stated Gerard de Rooy after finishing yesterday’s shortened stage.
Iveco Trakkers from Ton van Genugten and Wuf van Ginkel are fighting hard to get inside the Top 20, after losing more than six hours for having been stuck in mud, a couple of stages ago. They have the perfect truck to reach their goal before the finish in Buenos Aires.
Meanwhile, Federico Villagra with a second Iveco Powerstar, keeps himself between Dakar’s best five drivers, but he still aims to win a stage and go to the end in the best possible way.
If the organisation follows its normal course, Stage 10 will link Chilecito and San Juan, in the antepenultimate special of 2017 Dakar Rally.