Neom is planned to be a megalopolis in less than a decade and today it hosted the third stage of Dakar 2020 in Saudi Arabia. One of the hardest specials on the run, with plenty of trouble, rolls and accidents was very well managed by the PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO crews, as they all reached the finish line without major trouble after a couple of problems in yesterday’s Stage 2.
As in the first day, Janus van Kasteren was IVECO’s best driver, in spite of having again a flat tyre that cost him a potential fourth place at the end of the stage. Eight position did not leave him satisfied, but for sure had better luck than yesterday. Van Kasteren finished 32m43s behind Karginov, winner of the day. The Dutchman is now 7th overall.
Janus van Kasteren: “We did 25 kilometers with a flat tyre. That cost us some time. Navigation was one of the toughest items today. We kept on going in circles to get every waypoint in the correct way. The landscape was awesome, really surprising. I couldn’t look too much to my sides, but we are enjoying these roads”.
Vick Versteijnen was able to maintain himself inside the Top 10 in the first half of the stage, but a problem in the end of the 427 kilometers dropped him outside of the best 10. The PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO #522 closed the third stage in 12th position, 41m22s adrift. Versteijnen managed to climb one place in the general standings, entering the Top 20 after three days of competition.
Andorran Albert Llovera, from the #517 PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO, clocked the 16th best time of the day. With Alcayna and Torres in his truck, he completed another stage rounding the Top 15 and continues on the verge of the best ten in the race. Llovera lays in 12th, less than twenty minutes away from the tenth position overall.
Lastly, Michiel Becx, in the IVECO Trakker #531 ended just behind his teammate Albert Llovera, in 17th place of the stage. The Dutch crew acts as the main support and assistance for the three Powerstar PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO, and had an easy day at the office with a difference of less than an hour to the winner of the stage. They are now 21st overall, 4h48m behind the leaders.
Stage 4 will go from Neom to Al Ula, with equal parts of sandy stretches and gravel sections, mostly on tracks. However, speed will not be the key, as navigation could play an important part on the final time during the stage. The Nabatean temples will be close to the road, with the Dakar becoming as cultural as it can be in the fourth day of competition.
STAGE 3 RESULTS
1. Andrey Karginov (Kamaz) 3h59m15s
2. Siarhei Viazovich (Maz) + 4m54s
3. Anton Shibalov + 11m13s
4. Richard De Groot (Renault) + 15m25s
5. Ales Loprais (Praga) + 24m59s
8. JANUS VAN KASTEREN (IVECO) + 32m43s
12. VICK VERSTEIJNEN (IVECO) + 41m22s
16. ALBERT LLOVERA (IVECO) + 50m03s
17. MICHIEL BECX (IVECO) + 53m57s
1. Siarhei Viazovich (Maz) 11h34m01s
2. Andrey Karginov (Kamaz) + 2m18s
3. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) + 20m01s
4. Martin Macik (IVECO) + 38m59s
5. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) + 50m12s
7. JANUS VAN KASTEREN (IVECO) + 1h10m55s
12. ALBERT LLOVERA (IVECO) + 1h47m14s
20. VICK VERSTEIJNEN (IVECO) + 4h32m40s
21. MICHIEL BECX (IVECO) + 4h48m45s