van Kasteren considerably increases the pressure on frontrunners
Petronas Team De Rooy IVECO is in the top five
AL QAISUMAH – In the third stage of the Dakar Rally 2022, the Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco drivers showed that the battle is not over yet. Janus van Kasteren knocked very emphatically on the door of the Kamaz men. A third place in the stage was his more than deserved share. Martin van den Brink also showed himself and finished fifth today.
Vick Versteijnen and Mitchel van den Brink completed Team De Rooy’s strong performance by showing their speed where possible.
“If we can maintain this pace, there will automatically be pressure on the drivers in front of us,” said a very satisfied Janus van Kasteren immediately after the special stage, which covered 255 kilometers today. “It was a nice varied stage with fast paths, but also with beautiful dunes. We passed Loprais and got the Kamaz drivers in sight 50 kilometers before the finish.”
The blue and white of the Russian-make worked like the well-known red cloth to the bull. Janus van Kasteren, Marcel Snijders and Darek Rodewald passed Eduard Nikolaev and also had Anton Shibalov in sight. In the stage result, Janus trumped the two Kamaz drivers with 1.14 (on Shibalov) and 6.30 minute (on Nikolaev). “It was a beautiful day for us. We drove flawlessly and the truck was great. We could really go full throttle. This day gives a lot of confidence for Wednesday’s long stage. We are already looking forward to it,” said 35-year-old Van Kasteren, who is feeling completely in his element after three days of rallying in Saudi Arabia. The Iveco Powerstar with start number 504 is sixth in the general classification. The gap to number five, Ales Loprais, is only 1 minute and 37 seconds. The gap to number four, Anton Shibalov, is twenty minutes more.
The good feeling that Van Kasteren has had from the start was also present today, actually for the first time, with Martin van den Brink. “We drove without any problems for the first time and this gives a better picture of our possibilities,” said the experienced driver from Harskamp. “In the first stage I was not fit because of the stomach complaints and on Monday we had problems with the 4×4. Today went great. We are very happy with fifth place.”
Today’s classifications give the riders of Team De Rooy an excellent starting position for Wednesday’s stage. “It’s great to start behind the two Kamaz and to know that Martin will start right behind us. That gives a good feeling,” says Janus van Kasteren.
Martin van den Brink is also looking forward to the fourth stage with confidence. “If we can do this again tomorrow, a lot is still possible.”
The third Iveco Powerstar to report to the finish line was that of Vick Versteijnen. The fast man from Hilvarenbeek lost 30 minutes and 43 seconds to stage winner Sotnikov today. The main part of that loss of time came from the first part of the stage. “We had to change a tire and later we were stuck again. Other than that it went fine.”
In the wake of the leaders, Mitchel van den Brink recovered excellently from Monday’s setback. The quick assistant of Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco had to settle for 22nd place on the grid due to the repair of the shock absorber. Today the 19-year-old driver returned to the top fifteen without any problems. “It went well. We had to come from the back and were able to overtake a lot of buggies and also trucks. It was a nice special for us and the fifteenth place is fine. We are in good shape with regard to the starting order of the fourth stage, said Mitchel van den Brink, who provided service to Vick Versteijnen with his teammates Richard Mouw and Bert van Donkelaar on the liasson. “On the way to the bivouac, a wheel bearing got jammed. We are now working to repair the truck and hope to be at the bivouac in reasonable time.”
Tomorrow Van den Brink Jr. will start two places ahead of teammate Versteijnen. An excellent starting point for Team De Rooy for Wednesday’s long and difficult day. The fourth leg goes from Al Qaisumah to Riyadh. The special stage of 465 kilometers is the longest in the Dakar Rally of 2022. On the menu are fast sections, but also dunes of different types. The connecting routes of respectively 100 kilometers (to the start) and more than 140 kilometers (to the bivouac) make it a tough day in advance.
Bivak Brabant Dakar
The daily ( Dutch) online video from Omroep Brabant named “Bivak Brabant Dakar: Episode 4”