Africa Eco Race: De Rooy full throttle towards rest day, Van Ginkel stalls
The fifth stage of the Africa Eco Race was once again a two-faced one for Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco. While Gerard de Rooy drove through the desert in the direction of Dakhla with a tearing pace, Wuf van Ginkel had to stop at 86 kilometres into the special.
Ignorant of the problems of his backup driver De Rooy gave his Iveco Powerstar the spurs, to finish with in fourth overall at 36.48 of stage winner Vladimir Vasilyev, after 436 kilometres of racing. “It was a very fast stage”, De Rooy told at the finish. “We have driven at a pace of 150 for at least 20 percent of the time. I couldn’t go faster. This desert is actually too big and too flat for us; ideal terrain for the cars, but not for us.”
As a result of the fast track, Vasilyev was able to extend his lead in the standings. The Russian now has 16.35 on his closest opponent Mathieu Serradori and 1.25.02 on Pascal Thomasse in third. De Rooy is in fifth overall, at 2.40.43 behind. The Czech Tomas Tomecek is the second truck, in twelfth overall at 5.06.38 behind on Vasilyev.
De Rooy lost about ten minutes in the middle of the stage by changing a tire. “We hit a stone and had a slow puncture because of that. It was not completely broken yet, but it did not matter much, so it was better to change.”
While De Rooy was at the connection route of 175 kilometres from the finish line to the bivouac in Dakhla, Wuf van Ginkel was in the assistance truck of Hugo Duisters, with the Powerstar on the trailer. At 86 kilometres in the stage it went wrong again. “Again the engine. Everything is leaking. The oil and water gush out,” says Van Ginkel. “I’m really annoyed, because it’s going to be a very difficult story now. Fortunately, tomorrow is rest day, so we have time to see what exactly is wrong and whether it can be solved.”