Jan 17, 2018
But Van Genugten didn’t want to win; Villagra is getting closer
Team De Rooy Iveco did good business in the tenth stage of the Dakar Rally. Ton van Genugten recorded his second stage victory and climbed to fourth in the standings. Federico Villagra came in second, at just 33 seconds behind and cut half of arrears in the standings. “Actually I did not want to win today”, the Dutchman said, “but I saw the Kamaz’ standing still and thought ‘I have to go for it’. I can use every minute.”
A lot happened in the 373 kilometres special stage between Salta and Belén. Motorcyclists lost their way, cars broke down and there were also major shifts in the trucks class. Early in the stage, Van Genugten, who started sixth, saw two Kamaz trucks with punctures. And a moment later also the third. “I have been very carefully driving between the stones in order not to get a puncture. But then I put the gas on it. From a strategic point of view, I did not really want to win, but I’m not going to wait for those Kamaz trucks either. If I can gain some time, I’ll do it.”
In the liaison there was some time to change a tyre. That happened within the maximum time allowed for it, so it did not cost Van Genugten anything. He did come to the finish with a broken tyre though. In the last part the rear right tyre was cut, but it held. This allowed De Rooy Iveco teammate Villagra to come closer, but that was no problem. “Tomorrow, in the Fiambalá Super Special I will wait for him anyway”, said Van Genugten. “I think working together works best there.”
Because the Kamaz trucks had problems, the top 5 of the rankings crept closer together. Villagra has only 24 minutes left behind standings leader Eduard Nikolaev, Van Genugten passed Airat Mardeev and has the third place of Siarhei Viazovich (MAZ) in sight. The difference is 20 minutes.
In the eleventh stage, the ten fastest bikes of today, the ten best cars and the five best trucks start first. The rest will come an hour or so later. Van Genugten and Villagra must therefore take a direct fight against Viazovich, Nikolaev and Mardeev. The start of the SuperSpecial is at 11.30 am Central European Time.
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