It was a thrilling race yesterday for the trucks and the Special was eventually won by Gerard de Rooy. He was with his Iveco Powerstar 31 seconds faster than his rival Karginov and crossed the finish line in 1st place. Nikolaev came third with a time gap of 3:18 minutes.
Gerard de Rooy at the finish: "We had a hard time on the bad section between 170 and 200 kilometers in the stage, just before we went into the dunes. All those holes and stones are not really my thing. Once in the dunes it was fantastic and we could pass Nikolaev. He was nice for us because he pulled over. We could make up some minutes to Karginov between WP9 and WP10 and that did not surprise me. However, it disappoints me that he could take back some time”.
After WP4 Loprais had a massive plunge in the rankings with his Tatra and is at a distance of nearly 2 hours. Hans Stacey finished with his IVECO Trakker at 7th spot with a gap of 30:35 minutes. Pep Vila crossed the finish line in 9th place and lost 41:02 minutes to the leader of the stage. Jo Adua had started a real catch-up race and finished in 17th place with his Iveco Trakker. He had to start on 35th place after problems with his front axle in the trial of the previous day.
After yesterday’s Special Karginov retained the lead in the overall standings. In almost all the editions of Le Dakar the last day is a formality, but in the truck category it remains extremely exciting because the difference between Karginov and Gerard de Rooy is just 7:25 minutes. A puncture can quickly cause a delay of 10 to 15 minutes. For either of the two leading men today it will be 'all or nothing ‘.
Today is the short, final stage from La Serena to the finish, Valparaiso. The competitors start with a connection of 122 kilometers, followed by the final 157 kilometers Special of the 35th edition of the Dakar Rally. The last liaison kilometers to Valparaiso are very pleasant ones for those who are still in the rally. Many competitors have had to leave the competition prematurely. After arriving in Valparaiso in the evening there will be the official awards ceremony. The trucks are expected there around 21:30 (01:30 GMT +1).