|SA-Dakar Rally: Victory for Dutch Gerard de Rooy with his new Iveco Powerstar.|
"Great stage today! Only one perilous moment when we lost our bumper, but that was it. Let’s try to keep this feeling", says a elated Tom Colsoul, navigator of number 502 Racetruck after he heard that they won the 2nd Special.
After a short but thrilling 1st stage, the participants started today with the real work. A special of 295 kilometers brought the convoy from Santa Rosa de la Pampa to San Rafael. The trucks left a bit after 3 p.m. and at the end it turned out to be a tough day.
From the beginning on it was a exciting battle with small differences. The German Franz Echter was first at WP1, after 100 kilometres, Gerard de Rooy was 2nd at 22 seconds, Miki Biasion 5th and Hans Stacey 6th.
After 3 quarters of an hour, at WP3, Echter is still on the lead, but the Iveco’s from Team de Rooy did well. Gerard clocks the same time as Echter and Stacey follows within 10 seconds. Biasion takes the 6th place, being 1:27 minute behind.
At the finish the victory is for the Iveco Powerstar from Gerard de Rooy, being 3:21 minutes ahead of the Russian Kamaz-rider, Nikolaev and 4:56 ahead of his team-mate Hans "Racey" Stacey. Miki Biasion lost a bit of time during the last tough part of the stage and finished 7th at 9:40 minutes.
The fast service trucks are doing very good too; Pep Vila finished 12th with his Iveco Trakker EVO II at 23 minutes, just behind Franz Echter who had some problems during the last part. Jo Adua Finished 15th, a splendid place and Team de Rooy can be satisfied with 5 trucks in the top-15.
As soon as number 505 passed the finish, we hear the story of Hans: "My navigator, Hans van Goor, is doing a great job! The only technical problem I have is on the road-holding. The springs of my rear axle are not optimally tuned so I have some problems in the bends", says a passionate Stacey, "being 19 seconds behind Nikolaev, it has to happen tomorrow."
The 3rd stage starts in San Rafael and ends in San Juan. The track goes across fast tracks and demands the utmost concentration from riders and navigators. The trucks will do 500 kilometres in total, including the special of 209 kilometres. Gerard will start at 14.53 hours (local time).
2012/01/03 | 01:23 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/DE ROOY