Dakar: de Rooy stage 3 report

Gerard de Rooy was the winner of the special on the beach of Castellon, just like he was last year. He did the special with a length of 9 kilometers in 7 minutes and 32 seconds. Father Jan needed 7 seconds more but he was 9 seconds ahead of last...

Gerard de Rooy was the winner of the special on the beach of Castellon, just like he was last year. He did the special with a length of 9 kilometers in 7 minutes and 32 seconds. Father Jan needed 7 seconds more but he was 9 seconds ahead of last year’s overall winner Tchaguine. His Kamaz stable-mate Kabirov took the 4th place while Hans Bekx performed again very well with his 5th place.

Quite a success for the DAF Trucks as 3 of them finished in the top five. Newcomer Hans Stacey showed he didn’t loose his touch of rally riding and took the 10th place.

Gerard de Rooy beamed with pride before the liaison from Castellon to Algeciras: “Finally we could show what we can. Without taking any risk we finished first. However we did make some nice jumps.” The question is of course how father Jan reacted: “He didn’t say anything until now,” smiles Gerard, who didn’t show a sign of stress. Anyway Jan de Rooy was also as pleased as Punch with his second place and obviously he was proud of his son Gerard.

So tomorrow Gerard and Jan will start first and second in the first special in Morocco. “Luckily the last cars start 10 minutes before us, otherwise you just see the dust of the lesser gods in the car league,” knows Tom Colsoul. “On Monday we will start in the overall league of the cars and trucks. So we have to leave our marks tomorrow,” tells the Belgian, sitting in the cabin of number 417, which in the meantime is on it’s way to Algeciras.

Frétigné was fastest again in the motorbike league. He finished exactly 1 second ahead of Cyril Despres. Sala followed at 5 seconds and Eric Verhoef, who was on lead for quite a while, finished 4th at 10 seconds. Esteve Pujol was the first Spaniard at 18 seconds. His two fellow-Spaniards Nani Roma and Marc Coma took the 9th, respectively the 21st place in front of their home crowd.

Arjan Brouwer who was robbed in a spineless way of all his important paperwork, performed also very well; he finished 11th, staying just before newcomer Ronald Robbe. The rookie from Oosterhout finished 16th.

David Frétigné, the leader, will start first tomorrow in Africa. Eric Verhoef will leave 15th.

In the car league the victory was for Giniel de Villiers, followed by de Mevius, Peterhansel and Alphand. The Japanese Masuoka and Shinozuka took the 5th and 6th place. Former world champion rally Colin McRae finished 8th, Jutta Kleinschmidt 11th and Ari Vatanan 14th. Best Dutchmen was Ab Olde Scheper, he took the 41st place.

In the overall league Peterhansel will start first in Morocco tomorrow. He has a jump of 5 seconds on José Maria Servia and 22 seconds on the Belgian Gregoire de Mevius.

Today, after the special, the cars and trucks started with a long liaison of 852 kilometers from the beach of Castellon to Algeciras. Late this evening they will embark and do the short sailing to Tangiers.

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Series Dakar
Drivers Colin McRae , Jutta Kleinschmidt , Giniel de Villiers , José Maria Servia , Cyril Despres , Gerard de Rooy , Eric Verhoef , Gregoire de Mevius , Nani Roma , Marc Coma , David Fretigne , Jan de Rooy , Ronald Robbe , Hans Stacey , Arjan Brouwer , Hans Bekx