The surviving 2015 Dakar teams reached the competition’s finish line after a shorter final stage, in the town of Baradero, 150 kilometres from Buenos Aires. Iveco's Hans Stacey, who also won the last special stage, and Gerard de Rooy arrived in the Top 10 of the general rankings after a tough race that presented a series of challenges for virtually all drivers along more than 8,000 kilometres.
The latest edition of the world’s toughest off-road roally competition has come to an end. The 2015 Dakar announced its champions upon arrival in Baradero, near Buenos Aires, the site of the final podium. Although the final special stage was originally supposed to be 174 kilometres long, rally organisers decided to shorten it due to rains that flooded roads in the area along with mud that engulfed every section the participants had to cross through. Drivers in the Trucks and Cars categories drove just over 54 kilometres to the first waypoint, while Motorcycles and Quads went on to the second waypoint located 101 kilometres from the starting line.
Hans Stacey was the first truck to leave and took advantage of the clear road to win another stage in the 2015 Dakar. This was his third consecutive victory. He achieved a total of four, including the first day of the competition. The Dutch driver, with an Iveco Powerstar, beat his countryman Marcel van Vliet (MAN) by 1m19s and the 2015 Dakar champion, Airat Mardeev (Kamaz), by 2m25s.
Gerard de Rooy finished the stage in 7th place with his Iveco Powerstar, 4m36s behind Stacey. He finishes 9th in the overall rankings. De Rooy was one of the competition favourites, but problems in the fourth stage involving a crash made it impossible for him to achieve an overall victory. Regardless of this, De Rooy always kept pace with stage leaders and repeatedly earned a spot on the podium during the various stages. This is the first Dakar he finishes without having won a stage since 2011, when he was forced to pull out in the first stage.
Pep Vila, with his Iveco Trakker Evolution II, finished the day in 12th place, 9m24s behind his winning teammate Hans Stacey. Even though he was unable to achieve his goal of finishing in the Top 10, the Spaniard ends his battle with the knowledge that he did all he could, while demonstrating excellent teamwork. Vila came to the aid of his teammates on more than one occasion, enabling them to stay in the race. This includes stopping to assist in De Rooy’s early crash. Had he not lost that time in stage four, it is very likely that Pep Vila could have also finished in the Top 10.
"Our three trucks all arrived at the finish line, confirming their reliability and durability in the most extreme conditions. We did not end up on the podium as we had hoped, but we persevered and won the last three stages of the Dakar. Congratulations to the whole team," declared Pierre Lahutte, Iveco Brand President, who was present at the closing of the 2015 Dakar, alongside the fleet that arrived in Buenos Aires.