Iveco claims ultimate victory in Dakar Rallyby John Bambridge on Jan 18, 2016
Dutch driver Gerard de Rooy, swept to victory in his Iveco Powerstar at the 2016 Dakar Rally, held this year along a 9,000km route in Argentina and Bolivia, claiming the top spot on the podium alongside allied and competing Iveco teams in the third, fifth and tenth positions.
Earlier in the race, De Rooy came first in the 5th stage of the 13-day event, but trailed MAN driver and Dutch compatriot Peter Versluis in the overall standings until the 9th stage, when the landscape opened up into desert dunes and De Rooy broke clear of the competition.
By the end of the competition, De Rooy had accumulated a lead time of an hour and 10 minutes over his closest competitor, Kamaz driver Airat Mardeev.
The returning Dakar champion dedicated his victory to his Belgian navigator, Jurgen Damen, who passed away last year.
The rally was one of most closely fought to date, and included teams from MAN, Kamaz, Renault Trucks, Tatra and Scania.
In third place, an hour and 40 minutes behind the pole position, came the second Powerstar team, led by Argentinian rally driver Federico Villagra, or ‘El Coyote’, who was followed over the course of the event by millions of local fans in Argentina, where Iveco is market leader.
Pierre Lahutte, brand president for Iveco, commented: “Iveco’s vehicles triumphed in the 2016 edition of the Dakar, with a resounding success that adds recognition to the Eurocargo ‘International Truck of the Year 2016’ and Magelys ‘International Coach of the Year 2016’ titles.
“Iveco puts the reliability of its trucks on trial at the Dakar rally, and I would like to thank the remarkable teams for the determination and drive they have shown.”
The Dakar race also allowed Iveco to highlight the performance of its ‘Cursor 13’ engines, which were manufactured in Bourbon Lancy, France and specifically prepared for the race by FPT Industrial at its R&D centre in Arbon, Switzerland.