Excellent day for Team De Rooy
Van Kasteren, Van den Brink and Versteijnen climb in ranking.
RIYADH – Janus van Kasteren achieved an excellent third place in the fourth stage. The Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco rider managed to squeeze himself between the quartet of Kamaz toppers for almost the entire stage.
The Veldhovenaar fought very fiercely, especially in the initial phase and seemed well on his way to a podium place. In the last 25 kilometers of the 465 kilometer special stage, Van Kasteren, Snijders and Rodewald still had to accept that Sotnikov’s Kamaz was a little bit faster. Janus and co-pilots were nine seconds short of a podium finish. In the general classification, Van Kasteren did exceptionally well today. Van Kasteren climbed from sixth place to fourth place. The gap to Sotnikov is 48 minutes and 54 seconds.
It was a tough day for the trucks. Some gained a bit but many more teams lost a lot. Today’s losers included Andrey Karginov (ranked number three), Ignacio Casale (ranked seventh), Martin Macik (ranked eighth) and Pascal de Baar, who was eleventh. They all lost a lot of time.
The leaders of Team De Rooy benefited from it. Besides Janus, Martin van den Brink (ninth in the stage) and Vick Versteijnen (eighth) also made a big step forward in the classification. Martin is now sixth at 1.36.40 and Vick is on the doorstep of the top ten with 2.19.18 behind the leader.
After 200 kilometers in the longest Dakar stage of 2022, the difference between leader Andrey Karginov and fourth man Janus was only 47 seconds.
In the second part of the race, Karginov fell back far (he lost 1 hour and 26 minutes). Janus van Kasteren continued to set a fantastic pace on the Saudi plains. The Iveco driver saw that classification leader Sotnikov also had a problem on the way and settled in the top three behind Nikolaev and Anton Shibalov. “In the final phase we had to give in to Sotnikov. The Kamaz men were playing a game. We were always in the dust and didn’t want to take any risks. We also left some space at a tricky riverbed. If a rider gets stuck just in front of you, you have a problem yourself. However, we rode effortlessly through the mud and ended nine seconds short for a place on the podium of this stage.”
However, Janus van Kasteren can be very satisfied and so he was the fast Iveco driver. “We drove flawlessly. The Iveco Powerstar did an excellent job and the collaboration with Marcel Snijders and Darek Rodewald is going smoothly. Everything went as planned today and I am happy with it.”
Martin van den Brink was ultimately happy with the end result. De Harskamper drove the Iveco in the orange colors of Mammoet Rallysport Team De Rooy to ninth place in the stage. “After 120 kilometers we got a flat tire, left rear. After changing the tire we had to slow down, because the tire wasn’t well fixed.”
In the remainder of the stage from Al Qaisumah to Riyadh, Van den Brink had a great time. “We fought a beautiful duel with Pascal de Baar. After our flat tire we drove towards him and in the dunes we had a great fight. Finally we were able to pass him. It was also a fast and at some points a dangerous special. We are happy with sixth place overall.”
Vick Versteijnen was also more than satisfied. The last-minute replacement for Hans Stacey is getting better every day. Today Versteijnen, Teun van Dal and Randy Smits finished eighth. The Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco men finally left teammate Van den Brink 27 seconds behind after 465 tough kilometers. “Today was a really nice and tough Dakar stage. In addition to many stones, high dunes and fast parts, the course also had treacherous wet wadis at the end. Amongst others, Karginov’s Kamaz got stuck there.”
However, Versteijnen and his men did not get through the stage unscathed either. “At the last mandatory break we saw the steel wires of the rear right tire. But you can only change these during the special. We then decided to reduce the speed out and not switch tire. Fortunately, we made it to the finish in a nice eighth place. I am very satisfied, especially since we had to start nineteenth. On to more such beautiful days,” said an enthusiastic Vick Versteijnen just after the special.
Mitchel van den Brink was the last of Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco to start the 140 kilometers to the bivouac in Riyadh. The fast assistant crew was plagued by technical setbacks early in the stage. With 2 hours and 28 seconds lost, the 19-year-old driver from Harskamp kept the damage very limited. In the general classification, the team of Mitchel, Richard Mouw and Bert van Donkelaar remains in fifteenth place. “It was a day with a lot of fast tracks. After 15 kilometers the hydraulic tube of the clutch appeared to be stuck. As a result, there was a crack in it and we no longer had a clutch. We had to replace the hydraulic tube. That took a lot of time. After neutralization we had to stop one more time to bleed the clutch. The truck did not shift properly. We must have lost an hour. However, in the last part we flew through the dunes and overtook several buggies. Tomorrow we will start again with a fresh Iveco and fresh courage.”
The fifth stage starts and ends on Thursday in Riyadh. The connecting route is 214 kilometers in total and the special is 346 kilometers. The tour around the capital of Saudi Arabia is very varied. After a part on fast tracks with a lot of stones, the men and women are faced with no less than 80 kilometers of dunes. The sand hares can have fun in the final phase of the special.
Bivak Brabant Dakar
The daily ( Dutch) online video from Omroep Brabant named “Bivak Brabant Dakar: Episode 5”
Our photographer Arjan, travelling with our team, has already uploaded his photos!