Jan 07, 2020
Team De Rooy enjoys stage 3
The third stage of the Dakar Rally 2020, a 427 km loop near Neom, was so beautiful that everyone at Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco was impressed. In addition to the landscape in the northern tip of Saudi Arabia, the results were also satisfactory. A puncture cost Janus van Kasteren fourth place, but with eighth he was not dissatisfied. Vick Versteijnen steamed from 28 to 12, Michiel Becx from 27 to 17. Albert Llovera nestled in between in sixteenth place.
After the extremely difficult second stage, the four teams were fully committed to staying out of trouble. In the stage that came close to the border with Jordan, in a mountainous area with a peak up to 1400 meters, a lot could go wrong, but Van Kasteren, Versteijnen, Becx and Llovera kept the damage limited to a flat tire and a broken turbo hose.
Janus van Kasteren, who started from eleventh place, was immediately in good rhythm and built up the pace quite well with crossings in sixth, fifth and fourth place. “Unfortunately, we got a flat tire 25 kilometers to the finish, so we dropped back a bit,” he told at the finish. “Navigation was complicated in the last 100 km. We had to make a few turns there.” With eighth in the stage, Van Kasteren won one place in the general rankings: from 8 to 7.
Because he had to steer, Van Kasteren did not have much opportunity to look around. “But what I saw was very beautiful. Next to me I constantly heard ‘Oh! How beautiful here!’”
Vick Versteijnen & co. enjoyed the area as well. “It’s more beautiful than South America,” said Versteijnen. “Very cool to drive here.” He also got off to a good start: from 28 to 7 and 8. A collapsed turbo hose took about ten minutes, causing Versteijnen to fall back slightly. “A few kilometers before the finish, another one collapsed. We have not stopped for that. We reached the finish without turbo pressure. It is a pity, but when we can become twelfth with this, the others have been in much more trouble.”
Michiel Becx did not have to stop today to provide assistance and was able to keep on driving. “We don’t drive the knife between the teeth, like Janus and Vick,” he said. “It is more important that I don’t damage anything, so that I can help the boys with parts. At the finish we gave Vick a turbo hose to be able to drive to the bivouac. That was it for today.”
Becx gets more and more acquainted with the Iveco Trakker. At the obligatory stops in between he adjusted the suspension a little, so that the truck responds better. “Tonight we are going to adjust the cabin. It goes a little better every day. I am in my element.”
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