The fifth stage of the Dakar Rally was not a bad day for the four trucks of Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco. All four of them lost a bit of time by trifles, but not the hours that were lost in the previous days. There is still some uncertainty about the results, because the second part of the special was cancelled.
For the time being, the result of the nine trucks that reached the original finish seems to remain. This is favourable for Ton van Genugten, a little less for Gerard de Rooy and Maurik van den Heuvel. Federico Villagra was the first who did not start the last part. For him, the time probably applies at the last checkpoint plus the slowest time that was set by the nine in the section to the finish.
“It was a tough special”, according to Gerard de Rooy. “A lot has happened. The Czech Macik jumped into a four-meter gap and broke the front axle. He thus lost fourth place in the standings. We also jumped into that hole, but less hard. We were lucky with that.”
In the dunes, De Rooy collided with Ronan Chabot’s Toyota, which was right behind a dune without his alarm system on. “I just could not avoid him in the loose sand, and I got stuck with that myself. Maurik has pulled me out. That took about five minutes.”
In the last part, which was cancelled due to dense fog in combination with the dust of the feshfesh, De Rooy did not see a hand. “I was behind a Mini and a factory-Toyota that did not dare to exceed 70, 80 either. It was tight. I understand that they cancelled it. I would have liked that they also count CP3 as our finish, because in the last part I had a slow puncture. We have a GPS on board where they can send us messages, but they have not done that.”
At the finish, De Rooy saw teammate Villagra, who was supposed to be behind him. The Argentinian was the first of the trucks that no longer started the final part. Ton van Genugten did drive that piece. “If it had not been cancelled, they would have needed two rest days before everyone was back,” he thought. “It seemed like we were driving in clouds. I stopped a few times because I did not see anything.”
Van Genugten stopped in the beginning of the special for a quarter of an hour with Janus van Kasteren from Mammoet Rallysport, who was in a ditch with his truck. “I was indebted to Janus: last year he put me up. But I could not help him. We tried twice at the front and twice at the back, but we did not get him out of that ditch. There was now a row of cars waiting, so we had to continue.”
For Maurik van den Heuvel the problem of cancelled kilometres is utterly sour. If the time of the last checkpoint had counted, he would be fourth instead of seventh. “I started eleventh, was fourth afterwards, fell back a bit because I pulled out Gerard and after that I was fourth again. And that while I could only drive at 75 percent because otherwise the engine would run into emergency loop again. Maybe that saved me today, that I could not go full throttle, but it is frustrating.”
With fifth in the stage, Van Genugten is provisionally fifth in the standings. Due to the disappearance of Macik, who eventually could move on again, Gerard de Rooy moves to fourth in the standings, but his backlog on the three Kamaz trucks in front is almost two hours. “But knowing what trouble we have had already and what others have already experienced, nothing has yet been lost,” says De Rooy. “Villagra lost three hours on day 4 due to a broken exhaust: that can always happen. Mardeev is also lost one hour today: they too can break down. But on paper Kamaz is very well represented, with three men in front with small differences.”
Maurik van den Heuvel is provisionally eighth in the standings. Due to the hassle of results, the classification of Federico Villagra is not yet known.