Gerard de Rooy will not take part in Dakar 2020
In consultation with Iveco and Petronas, Gerard de Rooy has decided not to participate in the Dakar Rally. The reason is a hernia in his back, which De Rooy will have to undergo surgery for. “It’s not that serious, but I don’t want to take the risk of it getting worse,” says the double winner of the Dakar Rally. De Rooy will travel to Saudi Arabia to assist his teammates from Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco.
The back problems that Gerard de Rooy has been struggling with for some time are an indirect consequence of the earlier fractures in his back, which meant that he had to skip the Dakar in 2010 and dropped out early in 2011. “Because several vertebrae at the top of my back are fixed, it is more stressed at the bottom,” explains De Rooy. “That is why a hernia has developed. In daily life I have little trouble with it. It is well under control and I can do almost anything, but taking the blows in a rally is a problem. During our test in Morocco I noticed it became painful after a few days. Two consecutive weeks of heavy blows, several times a day, that’s just too much of a risk at the moment.”
Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco will thus start in Saudi Arabia on January 5 with four trucks: Janus jr van Kasteren, Vick Versteijnen and Albert Llovera with the Iveco Powerstar and Michiel Becx with the Iveco Trakker. The Powerstar with independent wheel suspension, with which Gerard de Rooy would ride, stays in Son. “The others have no experience with that truck and practically it is better to go with four technically identical vehicles.”