Dakar 2017: Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO sets off to South America to defend title
Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO will take part in the 2017 edition of the Dakar rally with its three trucks: an Iveco Powerstar 4×4 and two Iveco Trakker 4×4 vehicles
Gerard De Rooy will lead the team with co-pilot Moi Torralardona on the first Iveco Powerstar. Ton van Genugten and co-pilot Anton van Limpt step up to compete on the second truck, an Iveco Trakker after their exceptional 5th place at the Dakar 2016 with the support truck, which this year will be driven by Wuf van Ginkel and Bert van Donkelaar
For the seventh consecutive year, Iveco will be the official sponsor of Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO and provide them with vehicles, engines and spare parts, taking forward the ongoing partnership that has led to a number of major wins in recent years.
An Iveco Powerstar 4×4 and two Iveco Trakker 4×4 vehicles will tackle mile upon mile of extreme terrains in the 2017 edition of the endurance race for off-road vehicles. The trucks are equipped with Iveco Cursor 13 engines with up to 900 hp of power specially engineered by FPT Industrial – the powertrain brand of CNH Industrial – for the rally. Seven additional vehicles – six Trakker and one Daily – will complete the Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO line-up, providing support and assistance.
Dakar 2017 is set to be an extremely challenging race, with well-prepared, fierce competition: the 39th edition of the most famous rally in the world will once again be hosted in South America. Starting on January 2nd from Asunción, in Paraguay, the race route winds through Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina, covering more than 9 thousand kilometres to finish in Buenos Aires on January 14th.
On November 24th and 25th, all the European competitors embarked their vehicles in Le Havre, France, for a crossing that will take around a month.
Pierre Lahutte, Iveco Brand President, comments: “With this year’s team, we hope to replicate the great performance of last year in which Iveco dominated one of the most competitive Dakar ever with five different truck brands in the Top 10. As far as we are concerned, we are sure that we will continue to put the excellent reliability of our trucks on the trails of the Dakar rally, enabling the team’s outstanding pilots to give their best performance in the race.”
Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO is ready
After a fantastic performance in 2016, Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO is refreshed and raring to go, and its two drivers, Gerard de Rooy and Ton van Genugten, are ready to take on the challenge, with the valuable support provided by Wuf van Ginkel.
Gerard de Rooy, who will take the wheel of a sleeper-cab version of the Iveco Powerstar, is an expert driver who has demonstrated his extraordinary skills numerous times in the past, with memorable victories in the 2012 and 2016 editions of the Dakar. He will be joined by his co-driver, Spaniard Moi Torrallardona, an experienced navigator who has raced alongside many famous drivers in this race. They first competed together in the Morocco Rally in 2015. Mechanic Darek Rodewald will also be present on board the Powerstar, providing technical support throughout the rally.
The second vehicle, a day cab version of the Iveco Trakker, will be driven by Ton van Genugten, a truck driver by trade who will have the task of leading the Trakker to success. Van Genugten made a superb debut last year with his Iveco Trakker, finishing in fifth place overall. Now, in the 2017 edition of the race, he hopes to match the performance of his team-mate and captain, De Rooy. Anton van Limpt is his regular co-driver and, since last year’s edition, his co-pilot for the Dakar Rally. Bernard der Kinderen, long-time mechanic for team De Rooy, will be on board the Trakker to support the Van Genugten crew.
The other Trakker will be driven by Wuf van Ginkel, on his maiden race with Iveco, who has the task of providing “fast assistance” during the race, essentially transporting key spare parts for the duration of the race. Erik Kofman will be his co-driver, and Bert van Donkelaar their mechanic.
FPT Industrial, a brand of CNH Industrial that designs and manufactures on-road, off-road and power generation engines as well as axles and transmissions, will also be the technical sponsor of the team together with Sparco.
One of Iveco’s long-standing partners, PETRONAS Lubricants will be supporting its historical partner in the 2017 Dakar adventure. PETRONAS Lubricants, acting as Title Sponsor, will supply the lubricants and functional fluids for the rally and service vehicles, to become the first technical partner of the Team PETRONAS De Rooy Iveco Team. The sponsors also include OK Trucks, Iveco-certified used vehicle brand.
Gerard De Rooy is ready for the challenge: “The competition will be tough, but the Team is ready. We have prepared carefully, our vehicles have proven they fully deserve their reputation for reliability and they have shown they can deal with the toughest conditions the Dakar Rally can present. All of us in the team are very experienced and we can’t wait to put our skills and our trucks to the test: pushing the boundaries of what’s possible is in our DNA – just like it is in our partner Iveco’s DNA.”
Federico Villagra, the driver nicknamed “El Coyote” and surprise success of the 2016 edition of the race, will compete again behind the wheel of an Iveco Powerstar truck, heading up an Argentinian team with an eye on the first place.
The vehicles in the race
The Iveco Trakker is a vehicle designed to excel even in the most extreme off-road missions. With versions that range from 18 to 72 tons, the Trakker is the perfect combination of robustness and reliability, with the outstanding comfort of the New Stralis Active Day and Active Time cabs. The Trakker range, with left or right-hand drive, offers extensive scope for customisation for a variety of specific missions, thanks to the Iveco Cursor 13 engines and the two available cab types (Hi-Land and Hi-Track). Both versions can be specified in 4×2, 4×4, 6×4, 6×6 and 8×8 configurations, with engine powers ranging from 310 to 500hp. The tractors are available in 4×2, 4×4, 6×4 and 6×6 configurations, with engine powers ranging from 360 to 500 hp. Whether used for working in extreme off-road conditions or a majority of on-road missions with the occasional off-road operation, the Trakker can be equipped to optimise payload and fuel consumption.
On November 24th and 25th at the port of Le Havre in northern France, the Iveco trucks were loaded alongside the other European competition, assistance, logistical support and press vehicles. Since 2009, the process of loading the vehicles onto the ship at the second largest port in France has become an important rite of passage and, to a degree, has come to represent the first stage of the rally. In addition, this event also provides a unique opportunity to observe the vehicles in an atmosphere which is immediately transformed, taking on a distinctly South-American vibe! The Atlantic crossing will last about a month.