Just one day from the end of the 2016 Dakar Rally, Gerard de Rooy is maintaining a lead in the general classification with his Iveco Powerstar and will give his all in the last 180 kilometers to be crowned champion for the second time.
Stage 12 of the most difficult rally race in the world was held yesterday and Iveco made it to the podium once again. Federico Villagra landed the brand in second place, just 3 minutes and 14 seconds behind the winner, Pieter Versluis, in a Trucks special covering 267 timed kilometers. With this outcome, Federico Villagra, a first-timer in the Trucks category of The Dakar, is closing in on the third step of the podium in the general.
Gerard de Rooy continues racking up kilometers without any issues and strengthening his chances of winning The Dakar a second time, the first time being in 2012. The Dutchman was able to finish the day just 5 minutes and 24 seconds behind the leader, putting him in 5th place. He was even able to gain a few minutes on Mardeev in the general.
Another positive takeaway from Stage 12, which went from San Juan to Villa Carlos Paz, was Spanish pilot Pep Vila's performance with his Iveco Trakker, putting him in 11th place, 10 minutes and 46 seconds behind Versluis. This result puts him in the Top 10, just what the experienced pilot from Catalonia was hoping for, with just one special to go.
Ton van Genugten lost time at the beginning of today's special, but he did a great job of making up for it, as was his custom in this Dakar, with a fast-moving pace in the other Iveco Trakker. Van Genugten is still 4th in the general and, if De Rooy and Villagra are able to hang on to their 1st and 3rd place spots, he might just give Iveco the chance to put three of its trucks in the Rally's Top 4.
The goal for Iveco today is to set a steady pace with their vehicles in the remaining 180 kilometers. De Rooy is ahead of Mardeev by 1 hour 13 minutes and 10 seconds. Villagra is more than 30 minutes ahead of Van Genugten, who is currently in third, but the Dutchman had better watch outfor Hans Stacey, who is only 11 minutes behind him. Pep Villa will have to do the same with Artur Ardavichus, who is 20 minutes behind him; both are fighting for the last place within the Top 10.
The last special of the 2016 Dakar will be held today between the cities of Villa Carlos Paz and Rosario, where the winners will be met with a classic podium ceremony and thousands of fans cheering on the heroes that made it to the end of the world's most difficult race.
Stage 12 − Trucks
1. Versluis (NLD), MAN Ц 3:14:06
2. FEDERICO VILLAGRA (ARG), IVECO Ц plus 3 minutes 14 seconds
3. Stacey (NLD), MAN Ц plus 3 minutes 18 seconds
4. Valtr (CZE), Tatra Ц plus 5 minutes 1 second
5. GERARD DE ROOY (NLD), IVECO − plus 5 minutes 24 seconds
11. PEP VILA (SPA), IVECO Ц plus 10 minutes 46 seconds
12. TON VAN GENUGTEN (NLD), IVECO Ц plus 13 minutes 52 seconds
General Classification − Trucks
1. GERARD DE ROOY (NLD), IVECO 42:29:59
2. Mardeev (RUS), Kamaz Ц plus 1 hour 13 minutes 10 seconds
3. FEDERICO VILLAGRA (ARG), IVECO Ц plus 1 hour 43 minutes 45 seconds
4. TON VAN GENUGTEN (NLD), IVECO Ц plus 2 hours 17 minutes 10 seconds
5. Stacey (NLD), MAN Ц plus 2 hours 28 minutes 57 seconds
10. PEP VILA (SPA), IVECO Ц plus 4 hours 38 minutes 55 seconds​
- See more at: http://www.iveco.com/en-us/press-room/release/Pages/Iveco-and-De-Rooy-entered-the-final-stretch-of-the-Dakar-with-a-wide-lead.aspx#sthash.Qit2p1jA.dpuf