Jul 09, 2017
Gerard de Rooy decided to take it easy on the first day of the Silk Way Rally. The captain of Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco finished the first stage between Moscow and Cheboksary in fifth, 4 minutes behind stage winner Martin Kolomy. Team mate Ton van Genugten set the third fastest time, just over 2 minutes from the Czech.
The first special was just a short one of 61 kms, but it was quite tricky because of the muddy terrain and some treacherous navigation. “We saw Airat Mardeev and Martin van den Brink coming back, so we knew they had made a mistake”, Gerard de Rooy tells in the bivouac in Cheboksary. “At that point we were able to pass them. Van den Brink overtook us again and I let him go, although that wasn’t too clever as he were in his mud and we had ran out of water for the screenwasher.”
Except for that little shortcoming De Rooy enjoyed the first day of racing in his new Iveco Powerstar. “The truck works excellent. It feels very good. I’m really happy with the grip of the tires as well. We had good grip, but I saw the Kamaz sliding everywhere. I could have gone faster today, but I didn’t want to take the risk. It is just the first day.”
Team mate Ton van Genugten had more difficulties with the mud and had to use the torque to keep grip. “There were a lot of short turns and they were slippery, which made it a bit difficult sometimes, but we still managed to set the third fastest time because there were no other trucks in front of me.”
Two small navigational mistakes cost Van Genugten some time. “At first I regretted, because the result could have been even better, but in the end it was ok. I’ll have to wait for Gerard anyway tomorrow and now I don’t have to wait that long.”
Artur Ardavichus finished just 5 seconds behind Gerard de Rooy in sixth place.
Tomorrow’s stage from Cheboksary to Ufa is on more or less the same terrain: fast and winding tracks through high grass. The special is 157 kms long, with 197 km liaison to the start and 431 kms from the finish to the bivouac.
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