The caravan caravan of the world’s toughest rally raid reached the bivouac in La Paz, where all participants enjoyed their day off. Gerard de Rooy, in his IVECO Powerstar #500, leads the race after five stages.
The 2017 Dakar Rally arrived to the midpoint as the crews drove the connecting section to the camp in La Paz after Stage 6 was cancelled due to heavy rain and flooded roads.
With five stages already contested, the IVECO Powerstar #500 driven by Gerard de Rooy, Moi Torrallardona and Darek Rodewald, is at the top of the standings. The PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO team leader won the last two specials after suffering three punctures in the third day of competition.
Gerard de Rooy, with IVECO, leads in front of Eduard Nikolaev, Dmitry Sotnikov and Airat Mardeev with their Kamaz trucks, all of them locked within 16 minutes behind the leader. Dakar’s last champion did a solid job in South America’s hardest routes, in a competition that already crossed Paraguay, part of Bolivia and the north of Argentina.
Ton van Genugten and Wuf van Ginkel will set their sights on returning to the Top 20 of the race in the second part, after losing more than four hours and an additional two-hour penalty in the last timed stage. Van Genugten, navigated by Anton van Limpt and Bernard der Kinderen in the Trakker #507, were stuck in mud, a nightmare for them and other drivers. Wuf van Ginkel, joined by Erik Kofman and Bert van Donkelaar in the Trakker #525, helped their teammates to get out from the difficult situation. This was a turning point for both crews, who were running inside the best 15 of the class. Now, they hope to have a clean second week.
Federico Villagra, Adrián Yacopini and Ricardo Torlaschi, on board the IVECO #502, will aim to return to the Top 5, after falling back to sixth place in the first half of the race. With a good performance of the Powerstar and regular results, Villagra will try to repeat last year’s third place on the podium.
The 2017 Dakar Rally will be travel south from this Monday onwards, when the vehicles leave La Paz to reach Uyuni after 322 timed kilometres. On Tuesday they will head back to Argentina to race in Salta, Chilecito, San Juan, Río Cuarto and Buenos Aires, going over the landmark of 2.000 kilometres in the last week of the race.
Overall Classification – Dakar 2017
1. Gerard de Rooy (IVECO) 14h06m07s
2. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) +2m23s
3. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) +6m36s
4. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) +16m32s
5. Pascal de Baar (Renault Trucks) +32m25s
6. Federico Villagra (IVECO) +34m30s
23. Ton van Genugten (IVECO) +6h07m03s
25. Wuf van Ginkel (IVECO) +7h04m34s
Turin, 9 January 2017