Iveco leads 2017 Dakar Rally as it arrives to the rest day
The caravan of the world’s toughest rally raid reached the bivouac in La Paz, where on Sunday all participants will have their day-off. Gerard de Rooy, in his Iveco Powerstar #500, leads the race after five stages.
2017 Dakar Rally arrived to the midpoint as the crews headed to the camp in La Paz by a liasion section, after Stage 6 was cancelled due to heavy rain and flooded roads.
With five stages already contested, Iveco Powerstar #500 driven by Gerard de Rooy, Moi Torrallardona and Darek Rodewald, is located at the top of the standings. Petronas Team De Rooy leader won the last two specials after suffering three punctures in the third day of competition.
Gerard de Rooy, with Iveco, leads over the Kamaz of Eduard Nikolaev, Dmitry Sotnikov and Airat Mardeev, all of them locked in 16 minutes. Dakar’s last champion did a solid job in South America’s hardest routes, in a competition that already crossed Paraguay, part of Bolivia and the north of Argentina.
The Iveco Trakkers of Ton van Genugten and Wuf van Ginkel will set their goals in returning to the Top 20 of the race in the second part, after losing more than four hours and an additional two-hour penalty in the last timed stage.
Van Genugten, navigated by Anton van Limpt and Bernard der Kinderen in the Trakker #507, were stuck in mud, a nightmare for them and other drivers. Wuf van Ginkel, joined by Erik Kofman and Bert van Donkelaar in the Trakker #525, helped their teammates to get out from the difficult situation. This was a turning point for both crews, who were running inside the best 15 of the class. Now, they will look forward to have a clean second week.
Federico Villagra, Adrián Yacopini and Ricardo Torlaschi, onboard Iveco #502, will aim to return to the Top 5, after falling back to sixth place in the first half of the race. With a good performance of the Powerstar and regular results, Villagra will try to repeat the third spot in the podium achieved in 2016.
2017 Dakar Rally will be facing south from this Monday onwards, when the vehicles leave La Paz to reach Uyuni after 322 timed kilometres. On Tuesday they will head back to Argentina to race in Salta, Chilecito, San Juan, Río Cuarto and Buenos Aires, going over the landmark of 2.000 kilometres in the last week of the race.