de Rooy out of SS5 but not out of Silk Way Rally
With a 100-hour penalty behind his name, Gerard de Rooy continues the Silk Way Rally. That is to say, if the carrier of the cab of the Iveco Powerstar can be repaired overnight. De Rooy left the 484 kms after 260 kms at CP2 in the fifth stage, because the carrier had been torn and he wanted to reduce further damage.
“I wish I had not”, said De Rooy in the bivouac in Semey. “The road was even worse than the special. The carrier was damaged worse. But it’s easy to be wise after the event.”
If De Rooy had finished the special stage between Astana and Semey in Kazakhstan, it would have saved him 100 hours. That’s the penalty for not taking the special. If he had driven at a snail’s pace, he would have taken “only” the maximum time of 10 and a half hours, which means he had finished at a less than 6 hours behind.
De Rooy took the road on the advice of Luc Alphand, who excused for that advice in the bivouac in Semey. The winner of the Dakar Rally of 2006 had also thought that the road was the best solution, but even the assistance – used to quite some bad roads – described the route as ‘600 km special’. “I’m so sorry for Gerard de Rooy”, said Alphand. “He would have been better off with the special, but the information I had received was different.”
Yet De Rooy regretted the broken carrier most of all. “The cab is one of parts that are not new. That material has already suffered most. One blow too much, I guess. Luckily in the Silk Way Rally you are not out with such a problem. I can miss four days if I have to. That’s how I planned it in advance: we drive until we get something – and we would – and then we’ll see how we move on. That’s how I stay in it. If we get something, I’m gonna drive out of the special and we’re going down the road to the bivouac. I don’t care how much I miss, as long as I can drive in China in the dunes.”
For the sixth stage, De Rooy has put in the joker, and he can start right behind the top 10. “We’re basically here to make miles and test, so we keep doing that. We’re not here to win, but a nice stage success would be good. I just want to drive out here. The best test is the race. We would not have won the stage today either. This was a typical Kamaz stage. They really cut everything and go full throttle everywhere.”