Gerard de Rooy wins the special in Stage 7, having set the pace and finishing more than half an hour ahead of his rivals.
The first looped stage, beginning and ending in San Juan de Marcona with 323 timed kilometres, was very successful for Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO.
As in the previous special, Gerard de Rooy, behind the wheel of his IVECO Powerstar #503, clinched the win to close the gap with the first and second trucks in the race. Leader Nikolaev and his guard, Sotnikov, lost valuable minutes – especially the latter, who fell almost one hour and a half behind de Rooy. The Dutchman beat Viazovich by 30m55s to register the best time of the day.
Federico Villagra was very close to the lead in Stage 7, but lost time after the fourth checkpoint and finished in fourth place. With this result, the Argentine driver advanced to fourth overall, where he lies three hours away from a podium position.
It was a great day for Maurik van den Heuvel, the last driver to join Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO. The Ducthman finished in the Top 5 for the first time in this edition of the Dakar, as he arrived fifth, 51m behind his teammate in truck #503.
Ton van Genugten, who was leading the stage at the third checkpoint, arrived in San Juan de Marcona in eighth position, almost one hour and a half away from the lead. This has left him with a sour taste, but he will have a rematch tomorrow in his Powerstar #509.
With only three days till the end in Lima, the Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO is close to achieving its goal of reaching the finish line with its four trucks. Next, the Dakar caravan will go to Pisco with 575 kilometers, 360 of which will be run against the clock.
RESULTS – STAGE 7
1. Gerard de Rooy (IVECO) 4h47m27s
2. Siarhei Viazovich (Maz) +30m55s
3. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) +34m35s
4. Federico Villagra (IVECO) +43m02s
5. Maurik van den Heuvel (IVECO) +51m11s
8. Ton van Genugten (IVECO) +1h25m33s
OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 7
1. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) 29h50m35s
2. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) +32m54s
3. Gerard de Rooy (IVECO) +1h15m28s
4. Federico Villagra (IVECO) +4h15m15s
5. Ales Loprais (Tatra) +5h17m49s
6. Ton van Genugten (IVECO) +5h20m28s8.
8. Maurik van den Heuvel (IVECO) +6h45m27s