Silk Way – Iveco’s de Rooy satisfied at finish of “strange but beautiful rally”
Being the last truck on the list to pass the podium after finishing a rally is a new experience for Gerard de Rooy. “But actually the whole Silk Way Rally was a strange experience”, he says. “Even though I have become the last, I am satisfied.”
Two weeks ago in Moscow De Rooy began the Silk Way Rally with the aim of testing his new Iveco Powerstar. It was his intention to fight for a high position as long as possible. Until the fifth stage, that worked out well. In the stage from Astana to Semey in Kazakhstan, the carrier of the cab tore and De Rooy had to abandon the special stage to prevent further damage. The rankings were smashed by that: not finishing the special stage means a 100-hour penalty. It would happen two more times in the rally – a broken steerage in the eighth stage and again in combination with sickness in the 13th stage – meant that De Rooy had over 300 hours penalty behind his name at the finish of the Silk Way Rally in Xi’an.
“I knew in advance that things were going to break”, De Rooy says. “That’s what happens when you test a new truck. Testing was my primary goal in this rally. We’ve had a few days with lots of troubles. Only I didn’t expect these particular parts to break, while the parts I expected to break, didn’t. That was very unusual.”
Despite these incidents De Rooy is satisfied. He liked the event. “It was a nice rally. Unfortunately, I have not been able to drive all the dunes that were in the course, but what I did were more dunes in a few days than I have seen in the Dakar all together in recent years. By the time I was in the game, the slots tore up and I had to hold back a little. We couldn’t the damage as easily as we should back home in the garage. But I have been able to drive well and I could keep up with the competition. The new car is about as fast as the one Artur Ardavichus drove. I’m glad, because that means we’re on the right track.”
As a test, the Silk Way Rally has been successful, as far as De Rooy is concerned. With the results of Ardavichus (fourth) and Ton van Genugten (sixth), the captain of Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco is also very pleased. “The trucks will be back in Son in a week or three and then will be examined thoroughly to see which parts need extra attention. The problems we have had should not be difficult to solve, but I am particularly curious to see what we will be seeing under the skin after a tough rally like this. If all that is clear, we will see what we are going to do, for example with the OiLibya Rally in October.”