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Dakar 2015, 3°stage: Gerard de Rooy finishes third after severe battle

​• All three Iveco rally trucks make it to the finish
• Hans Stacey and Pep Vila not far behind De Rooy

After Monday’s intense heat with temperatures rising above 50 degrees, the Dakar teams faced a very challenging stage again on Tuesday from San Juan to Chilecito. But all three Iveco rally trucks made it to the finish, with a positive 3rd place position for Gerard de Rooy. Hans Stacey also finished in the top ten, in 9th place, followed by Pep Vila in 11th.

The route to Chilecito was short at 284 kilometres, but featured difficult rocky terrain together with mountains that made it increasingly harder on brakes and tyres. This is reflected in the average speed. On Sunday the average speed was 116 km/h, while it was a mere 82 km/h yesterday.

Right from the start Gerard de Rooy was the fastest again, as was the case on Monday. However, strong competition for first place came from Nikolaev (Kamaz). At the finish however, it was Mardeev (Kamaz) who came through with a strong final offensive winning the stage with a 1:51 minute advantage over Karginov. De Rooy crossed the line in third position, 4:30 minutes after Mardeev.

Mardeev now leads in the overall ranking with an advantage of some 8 minutes over Loprais (MAN), Karginov (Kamaz) and Nikolaev (Kamaz). Gerard de Rooy and his Iveco Powerstar are 9:52 minutes behind Mardeev followed by teammate Hans Stacey who stands at 12:42 minutes behind.

Gerard de Rooy: “It was really hard today, again. The truck suffered some very big bumps and one of the tyres was destroyed due to the rocks. Luckily we had no problems at all with the Iveco Powerstar,” said De Rooy at the finish. “We started with a minor navigation error at some 50 kilometres into the stage. I had a Kamaz truck behind me and just when (my navigator) Jürgen told me to turn, the Patrol emitted a loud noise and I missed the corner. Fortunately we were able to reverse within a few metres and the mistake did not cost us too much time.”

Hans Stacey: “We had some delay at the start of the stage because we could not overtake a jeep. When we finally passed it after 70 kilometres we suffered loss of engine power. So our technicians will have to perform repairs throughout the night. The last 200 kilometres of the special proved to be the greatest obstacle to making it to the finish. In the end we are more or less satisfied about the results, but we’ll press down even harder on the pedal tomorrow.”


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