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PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO – Dakar 2020

Twelve days of competition, five thousand timed kilometers of racing and more than fifty hours on full throttle onboard the trucks. That is a big picture of the last two weeks for the crews of PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO, that could not count with Gerard de Rooy in the line-up due to a back injury. Nevertheless, the Dutchman stayed in Saudi Arabia for the length of the rally to guide the crews and was satisfied with the job done.

IVECO Dakar
505 Van Kasteren Janus (nld), Rodewald Darek (pol), Snijders Marcel (nld), Iveco, Petronas Team de Rooy Iveco, Truck, Camion, action during Stage 8 of the Dakar 2020 between Wadi Al-Dawasir and Wadi Al-Dawasir, 713 km – SS 474 km, in Saudi Arabia, on January 13, 2020 – Photo Francois Flamand / DPPI

“The performance of the team was good. The only thing that changed from the previous years is that the drivers have a little less experience, but all of them were able to solve difficulties in the right way. The idea is not to make any changes, but to train and polish some details”, stated team manager Gerard de Rooy.

Two-time winner of Dakar Rally highlighted the good performance from Janus van Kasteren, who gave the PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO its best position with a sixth place. The Dutchman managed a stage podium in the early part of the competition and was able to get into the Top 10 in half of the specials. With consistence, Van Kasteren guided his #505 Powerstar to the edge of the Top 5 overall.

IVECO Dakar
505 Van Kasteren Janus (nld), Rodewald Darek (pol), Snijders Marcel (nld), Iveco, Petronas Team de Rooy Iveco, Truck, Camion, action during Stage 5 of the Dakar 2020 between Al Ula and Ha’il, 563 km – SS 353 km, in Saudi Arabia, on January 9, 2020 – Photo Eric Vargiolu / DPPI

Together with Van Kasteren, #522 Powerstar of Vick Versteijnen was the chosen one to fight ahead and assist his teammate in case of trouble. But the complications appeared for Versteijnen in Stage 4, when a mechanical issue prevented him from starting and forced him to retire. He could still continue in the race in “Dakar Experience” mode, but his times only counted for stages and not for the overall classification. He got into the Top 10 in Stages 5 and 7, as he switched his objective to help Van Kasteren with the assistance.

New for the PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO in this Dakar 2020 were Albert Llovera and Michiel Becx, with direct assistance for his teammates. Llovera competed with an adapted cockpit because of his ski accident years ago and performed in a great way, rounding ten from twelve stages among the best 20 trucks of the race. The Andorran scored his best result in his Dakar career with a 15th overall. On his side, Becx was just behind Llovera in 16th position, completing the results for the PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO in Saudi Arabia.

With the mind already set in Dakar 2021 that will be run in Middle East, PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO starts its preparation, with evaluations of the team’s performance and results, combined with the experience of the terrain known in these two weeks of competition in Saudi Arabia.

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Tristan Wiggill
Seasoned writer, journalist, photographer, and editor.
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