"Just like the day before, we had a Special yesterday where you could lose more than you could win. We have had some setbacks and it was all not 100 %. After 20 kilometers we lost the front window completely and we literally had to ‘eat’ dust. For some 120 kilometers all went rather well and things were not too bad till we were overtaken by the MINI’s, the buggy of Sainz and the Haval of Lavieille. It became really hell without that window,” reported Gerard de Rooy at the finish line.
It was a short Special of 156 kilometers taking the competitors from Tucuman to Salta, the location for the – well deserved - rest day. With the hard gravel and the rocky surface it was expected that the differences would not be big today. Unless technical problems would occur.
At the finish line after 1:52:55 hours Dutchman Peter Versluis enjoyed his long-awaited stage. He finished 1:11 minutes in front of Karginov who on his turn had a slight lead of 1:36 minutes over the 2nd MAN driver, Marcel van Vliet.
Hans Stacey was the fastest Iveco man today, as he finished in 5th position with a gap of 2:47 minutes. The first part of the stage he was very fast and after 50 kilometers he even passed WP2 in 2nd position, just 2 seconds behind stage leader Nikolaev.
Yesterday, De Rooy had to settle for 7th place, trailing the winner with 4:06 minutes, just in front of the Iveco Trakker of Pep Vila, who crossed the finish line 42 seconds later.
The other Iveco Trakker, driven by Jo Adua, crossed the line in 15th place, with a gap of 12:18 minutes. The Iveco Team De Rooy played it on the safe side today to defend the ranking positions and to be able to enjoy the rest day as the leader in the overall classification.
For the mechanics the task to prepare the trucks again for the second part of the Dakar Rally 2014.
There are no major changes in the overall ranking. Gerard de Rooy in the Iveco Powerstar is still leading but he lost some minutes to Karginov who is following him at a distance of 29:05 minutes.
The Russian on his turn is followed by KAMAZ team mate Nikolaev at a distance of 1:07:42 minutes from leader De Rooy. Hans Stacey is really back in business and climbed with the Iveco Trakker one place to 4th spot, 1:19:44 hours behind the Iveco team captain.
Today it's time to prepare the vehicles completely and to make sure that everything is brought back in perfect condition for the second week. The organization stresses that the second part of the rally should not be underestimated.
The teams will now stay for three nights at the bivouac in Salta, because after the rest day the trucks will have to do one round on Sunday and return in the evening to the service park again.