The first half of the 2016 Dakar Rally is over. Gerard de Rooy put Iveco in second place in the general, and now the crews are getting ready for the second week, which promises to be even tougher than the first.
On Sunday a day of rest in Salta for the Dakar pilots. The majority of the mechanics and pilots spent the day in their work spaces, getting their vehicles in shape for another week of racing on the most difficult roads in Argentina. At this point, 83% of the vehicles that left from Buenos Aires remain in the competition, including 51 of the 55 trucks that started the race.
The 2016 Dakar has already travelled through Bolivia, with the Iveco trucks very well positioned in the general classification. Gerard de Rooy, of the Team PETRONAS De Rooy Iveco, is currently in 2nd place, just 5 minutes and 31 seconds behind the Dutchman, Pieter Versluis. After more than seven stages and 21 hours of competition, that difference is tiny and everything can change in the second part of the rally.
"We have a lot of faith in our vehicles, things have been going smoothly for us. We think the Kamazes are going to put up a fight next week, no one expected them to have problems." said Gerard de Rooy, referring to the Russian trucks that always battle it out for the top spots in the Dakar and whose star pilots, Mardeev and Nikolaev, are now in 3rd and 4th place, 10 minutes behind the leader" said Gerard de Rooy, referring to the Russian trucks that always battle it out for the top spots in the Dakar and whose star pilots, Mardeev and Nikolaev, are now in 3rd and 4th place, 10 minutes behind the leader.
Federico Villagra has been the surprise of the season in the first half of the Dakar in the Trucks category. The Argentine, at the wheel of the La Gloriosa Team De Rooy's Iveco Powerstar, has demonstrated a great ability to manage and adapt to large vehicles, taking the lead in the general classification after Stage 5. Because of a flat tire in the last few kilometers of yesterday's race, he is now in 6th place, 15 minutes behind the leader, Versluis.
Ton van Genugten is getting the job done aboard Iveco Trakker #516 and is currently in 7th place in the classification, behind Villagra. The Dutchman also lost time yesterday when he stopped to help his teammate, Villagra, with his flat tire. Had he not stopped, he would likely have won the stage.
Pep Vila is aiming to make it into the Top 10 by the end of the competition and still has one week ahead. He's in 12th place but is just 32 minutes from the 10th position. Unfortunately, the Czech pilot Aleš Loprais had to drop out of the race, because of mechanical failures in a connecting stretch, just when the Powerstar was in a strong position within the Top 10 in the race.
General Classification − Trucks
1. Versluis (NLD), MAN – 17:05:09
2. GERARD DE ROOY (NLD), IVECO − plus 5 minutes 31 seconds
3. Mardeev (RUS), Kamaz – plus 10 minutes 48 seconds
4. Nikolaev (RUS), Kamaz – plus 10 minutes 54 seconds
5. Stacey (NLD), MAN – plus 11 minutes 28 seconds
6. FEDERICO VILLAGRA (ARG), IVECO – plus 15 minutes 35 seconds
7. TON VAN GENUGTEN (NLD), IVECO – plus 29 minutes 0 seconds
12. PEP VILA (SPA), IVECO – plus 1 hour 26 minutes 7 seconds
- ALEŠ LOPRAIS (CZE), IVECO – dropped out
To learn more about Iveco's teams and vehicles and to follow Iveco day-by-day throughout the race, visit www.iveco.com/dakar