Jan 09, 2016
The Dakar Blazed Past the Uyuni Salt Flats
The sixth stage of the world’s toughest rally race included very dangerous stretches near the Uyuni Salt Flats, in Bolivia. Gerard de Rooy was Iveco’s strongest competitor today, coming in just 7 seconds behind the winner, Hans Stacey
According to the pilots, yesterday’s special was the most complex so far in the 2016 edition of the competition. There were falls, fractures, fires and drop-outs, but Iveco’s fleet went unscathed and reached the finish line without any problems.
Gerard de Rooy was in the lead at 4 out of 5 waypoints, but victory slipped out of his hands near the end, when Hans Stacey, snatched the lead away from him with just a few kilometers to go and won by just 7 seconds. The Iveco Powerstar proved to be up to the challenges presented by the toughest roads it has traveled up to this point. Thanks to de Rooy’s performance, Iveco made it to the podium once again, for the fifth time in a row, having made it into the Top 3 in every special with at least one of its trucks.
Federico Villagra, who was the leader at the beginning of the sixth stage, soon drifted into the background, coming in 4 minutes and 26 seconds behind the leader and ending the day in 9th place. The top spots in the general classification now belong to the MAN pilots Stacey and Versluis. They are ahead of the Iveco Powerstar pilots Federico Villagra and Gerard de Rooy by 4 minutes and 5 seconds and 5 minutes and 36 seconds, respectively. However, more than half the race still lies ahead.
The crews of the Iveco Trakkers were a bit further behind today, with the Dutchman Ton van Genugten and the Spaniard Pep Vila crossing the finish line more than 10 minutes behind the leaders for 13th and 15th place.
The sixth stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally was the first and only to be held exclusively on Bolivian soil. There were two roads around the Uyuni Salt Flats: one for Cars, Bikes and Quads that consisted of 542 timed kilometers, and another special for Trucks that was just 295 kilometers. The routes were very complicated, with the additional challenge of altitude, which caused several pilots to get dizzy, faint and resort to using oxygen. The route never dipped below an altitude of 3,500 meters and, at some points, it reached peaks of up to 4,200 meters.
Today, the Dakar caravan will head south again towards the Republic of Argentina. Stage 7 will include 469 timed kilometers, with a race section in Bolivia, a neutralization zone up to La Quiaca, Argentina, and a final competitive section before the last day in Salta, where the pilots will rest on Sunday.
Stage 6 Trucks
1. Stacey (NLD), MAN – 2:55:35
2. GERARD DE ROOY (NLD), IVECO – plus 7 seconds
3. Versluis (NLD), MAN – plus 1 minute 15 seconds
4. Nikolaev (RUS), Kamaz – plus 2 minutes 11 seconds
5. Sotnikov (RUS), Kamaz – plus 2 minutes 21 seconds
9. FEDERICO VILLAGRA (ARG), IVECO – plus 4 minute 26 seconds 13. TON VAN GENUGTEN (NLD), IVECO – plus 1 minute 1 second 15. PEP VILA (SPA), IVECO – plus 11 minutes 59 seconds
– ALEŠ LOPRAIS (CZE), IVECO – dropped out
General Classification Trucks
1. Stacey (NLD), MAN – 17:05:09
2. Versluis (NLD), MAN – plus 59 seconds
3. FEDERICO VILLAGRA (ARG), IVECO – plus 4 minutes 5 seconds 4. GERARD DE ROOY (NLD), IVECO – plus 5 minutes 36 seconds 5. Mardeev (RUS), Kamaz – plus 12 minutes 6 seconds
8. TON VAN GENUGTEN (NLD), IVECO – plus 22 minute 08 second 12. PEP VILA (SPA), IVECO – plus 1 hour 10 minutes 7 seconds
– ALEŠ LOPRAIS (CZE), IVECO – dropped out
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