"Today’s stage with Karginov (Kamaz) was incredible, but he certainly had luck on his side. The stage was extremely difficult; we found nothing but holes and stones for the first 360 kilometres. We were already too far behind by the time we finally arrived at the dunes. We lost a few parts, including the bumper while crossing over the top of a huge dune, but only realised this at the end,” said Gerard de Rooy, conscious of the strong set of Russian competitors following closely behind him.
The Special from Calama to Iquique was in fact challenging for all competitors. Kamaz driver Karginov took enormous risks to close the gap between himself and De Rooy, who remains first in the rankings.
For the first time in this edition, Team Iveco faced difficult delays: there was a problem with the clutch on Pep Vila’s truck at 140 kilometres into the race and Hans Stacey also hit trouble and lost an estimated 50 minutes, finishing 16th.
Karginov (Kamaz) managed to win with a time of four hours and 58 minutes. De Rooy placed second, trailing with a distance of only 19 minutes, followed by two other Kamaz drivers, Nikolaev and Sotnikov, who placed in third and fourth positions. De Rooy is still number on e In the overall standings, but his lead over important rival Karginov has diminished to 13 minutes. The race is therefore expected to be a fight for the victory between the two drivers, with the other competitors in the truck category still far behind.
Today’s Special from Iquique to Antofagasta has a total length of 689 kilometres. It starts with a 53 kilometre connection, followed by a 631 kilometre Special and an additional five kilometre connection back to the bivouac. The first part of the Special is made up of sandy terrain. The second part of the Special includes long sections of the infamous fesh–fesh, volatile fine sand that creates spectacular dust clouds and puts drivers and their vehicles in great difficulty, appearing as though it can be easily naviagted through but can in fact cause trucks to become stuck, similar to a swamp environment.