‘Joy and sorrow’ go hand in hand
Van den Brink third; setback for Van Kasteren and Versteijnen
Today our servicepark is moving along with the stage and are going to set up our biaque in Al Dawadimi, after three nights of the Riyadh bivaque.
Stage 7 is going to be a tough route, with lot’s of loose sand and pointy rocks;
EL DAWADIMI – ‘Joy and sadness’ went hand in hand in the De Rooy Iveco team today. An excellent third place by Martin van den Brink provided the happy faces. The loss of time by Janus van Kasteren and Vick Versteijnen caused a slight disappointment.
Janus van Kasteren caused concern early in the test in the Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco camp. It went wrong in the first ten kilometers. “I didn’t even notice it,” said Janus after the special. “It’s my fault because I drove over a bump and should not have done that.”
Teammate Vick Versteijnen had started two minutes after Van Kasteren and was quickly on site to put the truck on four wheels. Janus, Marcel Snijders and Darek Rodewald emerged from the truck unscathed. With the help of quick assistant Mitchel van den Brink, accompanied by Richard Mouw and Bert van Donkelaar, the truck was made roadworthy again as quickly as possible. However, the men in the Iveco with #504 had to do without a windscreen and tire inflation system for the rest of the day. A seventeenth place in the stage was the final result. The fact that Janus ‘only’ lost 38m49s in the remaining 400 kilometers says enough about the willpower of the men in the Iveco of Petronas Team De Rooy.
Despite today’s setback, Janus remained at the top of the standings. At 1 hour 36 minutes and 51 seconds behind Sotnikov, Veldhoven is fifth. Karginov is number six and is only a minute behind the Team De Rooy team.
In the colors of Mammoet Rallysport Team De Rooy Iveco, Martin van den Brink had a ‘nice day’, as he said afterwards. “We have experienced nothing. We increased the speed slightly and are very happy with the third place.” The men of Team De Rooy managed to “split” the super quartet of Kamaz. “We drove in front of them and just behind them. We saw today that we can keep up with them pretty well. In the last part we let them pass. We knew we were on the right track with the result. I am very happy with this place on the podium.”
In the seventh stage from Riyadh to Al Dawadimi, Van den Brink’s team marched like a well-oiled machine. “It went wonderfully. Navigation went well. We found the waypoints easily and we didn’t incur any penalty by breaking the speed.”
Third place is a good start to the final week in Saudi Arabia for Martin, navigator Peter Willemsen and mechanic Bernard der Kinder. “We drove very hard, but nothing happened. It’s a nice boost for the rest of this week. Tomorrow we’ll get back to it.”
The win in Al Dawadimi went to Anton Shibalov. It was the first stage win for the ‘water carrier’ of Kamaz in this year’s Dakar Rally. Nikolaev conceded 1 minute and 37 seconds. Martin and his men came in at 4m25s from the winner. The third Kamaz (Karginov) gave up 6m39s and leader Dmitry Sotnikov took fifth place at 6.52. In the standings, Sotnikov is more than 5 minutes ahead of Nikolaev. Martin van den Brink is almost two hours behind the number seven in the ranking.
De Harskamper is 22m54s behind teammate Janus van Kasteren.
Vick Versteijnen also had to settle for a place outside the top ten today. At 31m58s, the driver from Hilvarenbeek was fourteenth. Versteijnen’s brigade, with Teun van Dal and Randy Smits on board, had to deal with the bad luck today. “After a few kilometers we stopped at Janus. We quickly put it on four wheels and saw how the riders were doing. We were able to continue quickly because Mitchell was there too. Then the setback started for us. The engine got too hot. We were able to use 60 to 70 percent of the available power. If we drove to someone, we just couldn’t get past it due to the lack of power.”
For Vick and his co-pilots, that didn’t end the cake for today. “The tire pressure system broke down. So we couldn’t adjust the tension anymore. Before the dunes we had to adjust the tension manually and after the dunes again. Technically, it was a bit disappointing. We were also a bit distracted by Janus’ crash, of course. We had no problems with flat tires or anything else. It’s a shame that we lost about 20 minutes due to technical problems.”
But after the finish, Vick Versteijnen turned out to have a healthy dose of perspective. “We cannot complain. Shortly before the finish we saw Maurik van den Heuvel’s truck, which was totally wrecked. We are happy to be back and tomorrow we will be on our way to a top ten ranking with a fresh truck.”
Mitchel van den Brink (sixteenth) finished two seconds ahead of Janus. The young trucker from Harskamp had already proved his task as a quick assistant early in the stage. Mitchel, Richard Mouw and Bert van Donkelaar were quickly on site to pull Janus’ truck upright. “We started well, but after about 10 kilometers Janus was on his side. Vick straightened it and continued. We then helped to find the parts and make the truck drivable. We have also removed a cubic meter of sand from the cabin. I think we lost half an hour. We may get time back because we helped someone.”
In the remainder of the stage, Mitchel continued to drive behind Van Kasteren like a loyal guard. “We waited a while before the dunes and just after the last dune. Janus had to manually adjust the tire pressure. Other than that, today went great. It was a fast stage with a lot of cutting. Except through the Kamazzen I believe. They just went straight everywhere. We also searched for a waypoint one more time, but that didn’t take much time. We hope to get time back for the help to Janus and tomorrow we will continue cheerfully.”
The eighth stage goes from Al Dawadimi to Wadi ad Dawasir on Monday. The total stage covers no less than 830 kilometers. The special stage covers 395 kilometers. The long connecting stage, the two hundred kilometers through lots and dunes and the difficult finish will possibly cause major differences.
Waiting for video (usually arrives around 22:00 CET)
Stage is finished
What a day it was… 😅
506 Martin van den Brink came in on 3th place (+4m25s) 🤩
515 Vick Versteijnen on 14th place (+31m58s),
524 Mitchel van den Brink on 16th (+38m46s), and
504 Janus van Kasteren on 17th place (+38m49s).
Halfway around the stage Janus had some troubles but lucky for them Mitchel was there to be their assistance for the remainder of the route. They made it to the finishline without a front window… 😳