Basildon, January 08, 2016
Iveco is back in the legendary Dakar off-road rally as an official supporter of Petronas Team De Rooy, and is leading the field - with more Iveco trucks in the top 10 than any other vehicle manufacturer. Four of the five Ivecos to enter the 2016 event are mixing it at the front of a field which included entrants piloting trucks from 12 manufacturers.
This year’s Dakar is the 38th running of the world's most famous endurance rally and sees the team competing across Argentina and Bolivia, with each day’s stage pitching drivers against changing altitude, temperatures and terrain. The event is running from 3-16 January over a route totalling some 9,000km.
Yesterday's fifth stage of the Dakar 2016 ended in Uyuni when Federico Villagra claimed the lead in the general standings. Villagra, known as “El Coyote”, a famous Argentinean rally and car raid pilot, is the main driver for a new local team – La Gloriosa De Rooy Iveco – with the vehicle being prepared by Gerard De Rooy.
Villagra and Ton van Genugten recorded exactly the same time after 327 km of special stage (4.04.35), one with the Iveco Powerstar, the other with the Iveco Trakker, claiming third and fourth in the rankings. For Villagra it was just enough to take over the lead from Peter Versluis (MAN) by 5 seconds.
The Argentinian was very pleased with that result. “Yes, of course. It’s only 5 seconds, but the lead is the lead. The stage was difficult. It was easy to make a mistake. In the end of the stage we ran out of brakes, which made it even more difficult, but we finished and didn’t lose too much time.”
Gerard de Rooy, starting first after claiming victory in stage 4, misjudged the circumstances in the opening phase of the special, that was run at very high altitude. "I was a bit too careful. I decided to wait for the two MAN’s to arrive and that was a mistake,” De Rooy admitted. “Because soon after they arrived it started to rain and I’m not fond at all with mud and slippery tracks. My pace was simply too low. In the final part I could make up a bit but I had lost too much already.” De Rooy finished in eighth, 7.27 short of stage winner Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz).
Despite his own disappointment, De Rooy was pleased with the team result. “The team strategy seems to be working well, but we have to watch out. Kamaz was strong today and the gaps are still very small. There is just 21 seconds between number 1 and 3 in the standings.”
The De Rooy team started Dakar 2016 with five vehicles – four in its own Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco colours, and the additional vehicle being prepared for Villagra.
The vehicles have been purpose-built by Iveco for the 2016 Dakar: three Iveco Powerstars and two Iveco Trakker day cabs, manufactured in Spain. In addition to the rally trucks, six support and assistance Trakkers (one 4x4, four 6x6s and one 8x8) and one 7-tonne New Daily van will complete the line-up, providing transport and fulfilling logistical needs for the 20-strong team of mechanics.
The Iveco Trakker is designed to cope with extreme off-road conditions; its Stralis-based cab is the result of proactive input from both dealers and end-users. From the very start it was engineered to improve drivability and on-board comfort, both essential elements for productivity and safety at work. The Trakker blends strength and reliability with the comfort of new Stralis Hi-Street and Hi-Road cab.
The challenging terrain and all-weather conditions that the Iveco trucks will endure during the 9,000km South American route will suit the versatility and strength of the product. The Iveco Cursor 13 engines – specifically prepared for the race by FPT Industrial at its R&D centre in Arbon, Switzerland – known for their power and durability, will be driving Iveco’s campaign for further success in the Dakar rally. Characterized by fast load response, especially at low rev/min, the 6 cylinder 13 litre units, consist of more than 70 per cent standard Euro VI hardware, complimented with hand-picked components from FPT's industrial and marine range engines.
Petronas Team De Rooy won the Dakar in 2012 with Gerard de Rooy, and finished in a strong second place in 2014.
Overall rankings after Stage 5 (completed 7 January 2016)
Iveco is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., a World leader in Capital Goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI). Iveco designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, off-road trucks, and vehicles for applications such as off-road missions.
The brand’s wide range of products include the Daily, a vehicle that covers the 3 – 7 tonne vehicle weight segment, the Eurocargo from 6 – 19 tonnes, the Trakker (dedicated to off-road missions) and the Stralis, both over 16 tonnes. In addition, the Iveco Astra brand builds off-road trucks, rigid and articulated dumpers as well as special vehicles.
Iveco employs close to 21,000 individuals globally. It manages production sites in 7 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America where it produces vehicles featuring the latest advanced technologies. 4,200 sales and service outlets in over 160 countries guarantee technical support wherever an Iveco vehicle is at work.
For more information contact:
Nigel Emms, Director, Brand & Communication
Tel. +44 (0)1268 885911
ref : IVECO 16002