Hard stage for Gerard de Rooy; less than 400 kilometres for battling before the finish line
Gerard de Rooy, last Dakar Rally winner in 2016 with Iveco, had a rough day and lost more than 20 minutes after two punctures, letting slip away the leaders in the overall classification.
The Dakar Rally was able to complete a full race day for the first time in a week, as the competition linked Chilecito and San Juan, in the west of Argentina.
Stage 10 was finally the longest special in the race, as partial or full cancellations were made to the previous five stages. Today, drivers of al categories had to run 449 timed kilometres in order to arrive to the bivouac in San Juan.
It was not an easy day for Iveco, although it started in a strong way with Gerard de Rooy in his #500 Powerstar. Petronas Team De Rooy leader was less than a minute behind de first truck in Waypoint 1, but then fell 23m43s back as two flat tyres cost him most of the time. This made him lose momentum in the fight for the victory, as he is now 24m17s behind de leaders but in the same third place in which he started the day.
Ton van Genugten and Wuf van Ginkel’s Trakkers started behind his teammate in the road. Both were affected for the hardness of the stage. In the first section they already lost half an hour and then finished inside the Top 15.
Van Genugten finished 35m02s away from leader Sotnikov, as Van Ginkel placed his #525 Trakker 37m54s adrift.
Federico Villagra saw how a difficult stage took away his chances of climbing up in the classification, as he lost more than half an hour only in this special with his #502 Iveco Powerstar. The Argentine keeps his fourth place, but almost one hour behind the Kamaz.
The race is approaching Buenos Aires, where on Saturday 14th the capital city of Argentina will have its ceremonial finish and winners will be receive their trophies after putting an end to the odyssey of 9.000 kilometres through South American routes.