It was a long stage today for Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO: 813.89 km from Urumqi to Hami with a special distance of 421 km in the dunes, then on stony, broken ground.
Kazakh pilot Artur Ardavichus achieved again the best result for the team, finishing the stage in seventh place with his IVECO Powerstar.
After a well-deserved rest day in Urumqi, Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO was back on board today. This morning Artur Ardavichus left the bivouac at 7.36 ahead his teammates and drove carefully behind the wheel of his IVECO Powerstar, finishing Stage 9 from Urumqi to Hami in a good position. “Today it was a very hard day – confirmed the pilot – The stage was really tough, with dunes and gravel: to make it to the end it was necessary to drive not too fast but not even too slow. I think otherwise not all the trucks would have arrived at the end of the stage.” The newest driver of the team is still firmly in the 5th place of the overall ranking.
Team leader Gerard De Rooy finished 10th in the special stage: “Unfortunately after two kilometres in the SS we blew a shock absorber, but we tried to go on anyway. In the dunes we were forced to stop to change a tyre and we lost a lot of time because the sand was so soft that it made it very difficult. Tomorrow we will try to make good time on the way to the next dunes.” De Rooy’s #302 Powerstar is now in 14th place of the partial general classification.
Today was a very hard stage for the third member of Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO too: on board his Trakker, Dutchman Ton Van Genugten – with Marco Alcayna Ferran and Bernard den Kinderen – finished in twelfth position and maintained his eight place in the general. Today he drove carefully and lost time to help De Rooy change the tyre.
Tomorrow, July 18th, the start of the third special in China will be very fast, then the track will become more technical and slower with many changes of direction. In “the 492 chapels of Mogao” there will be some very nice fast sections in a big wadi with magnificent landscapes. Throughout the last part of the stage, the track runs along a dried lake and is not always clearly marked, so it is easy to loose if headings are not strictly followed. The stage is 517.53 km long, of which 360.28 km of the special.
Stage 7 and Stage 8 sum-up
Today’s challenging stage follows the successful performances of the first week. On July 14th, Artur Ardavichus achieved Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO’s best result in stage 7 from Urdzhar to Karamay, finishing in 9th position and in the top five of the general ranking. Dutch teammates Gerard De Rooy and Ton Van Genugten drove carefully and arrived tenth and eleventh.
The 8th leg from Karamay to Urumqi (July 15th), on the eve of the rest day, was a tough challenge that Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO tackled with success, with two IVECO trucks finishing in the top ten of the partial classification. Artur Ardavichus and Ton Van Genugten finished in seventh and tenth position and Team leader De Rooy finished Saturday’s stage in 14th position (due to 7h penalty assigned), maintaining his ranking in the overall classification.
Stage 9 results – Silk Way Rally 2017
1. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) 4h19m50s
2. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) +0m36s
3. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) +5m09s
4. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) +9m25s
5. Martin Kolomy (Tatra) +11m40s
7. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) +25m47s
10. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) +58m22s
12. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +1h16m11s
Overall classification – Silk Way Rally 2017
1. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) 27h50m00s
2. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) +14m27s
3. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) +26m30s
4. Martin Kolomy (Tatra) +31m30s
5. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) +1h43m59s
8. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +7h52m23s
14. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) +214h56m39s