Dakar: De Rooy team stage one report

Hans Bekx surprising winner of the truck category. Jan de Rooy follows at 16 seconds. Gerard de Rooy has to put up with 5th place. "Over here you don't win, you can only loose" After the administrative and technical scrutineering, finally all...

Hans Bekx surprising winner of the truck category.

Jan de Rooy follows at 16 seconds. Gerard de Rooy has to put up with 5th place. "Over here you don't win, you can only loose"

After the administrative and technical scrutineering, finally all teams were allowed to start on the first day of Le Dakar 2005. The only Team that didn't start simply didn't show up at scrutineering in the Palau St. Jordi. In total 463 teams started with the mammoth rally: 230 motorbikes, 164 cars and 69 trucks. Next to that the assistance army consists of 223 vehicles.

Contrary to previous years the outcome of the Prologue was very important as this will be included in the overall standings. The organization plotted a course of 6 kilometres on the beach, complete with bumps, traps and curves.

The motorbikes were first. It appeared quite fast that something sensational was in the air when Arjan Brouwer took the lead with a time of 4.32.06 minutes. When 165 out of the 230 motorbikes had finished, Brouwer still took the first place. It was his fellow-countryman Eric Verhoef who took over, being 8 seconds faster. Verhoef didn't derive pleasure from it very long. French David Fretigne improved Verhoef's time by 13 seconds. It was his fourth victory in Le Dakar. Cyril Despres, winner in 2003 on the beach of Castellon, finally finished second. Verhoef kept his 3rd place at 5 seconds behind Despres and Brouwer took the 4th place. One of the favourites, the winner of 2001 and 2002, Fabrizio Meoni, finished 7th at 30 second behind Fretigne.

In the car category, the victory was for newcomer Robbie Gordon with a Volkswagen Touareg. It meant the first American victory in the Dakar rally. The winner of 2002 and 2003, Hiroshi Masuoka took the 2nd place at 2 seconds. Giniel de Villiers was 3rd at 3 seconds. There were only small differences at the top as de Saby finished 4th at 5 seconds, Luc Alphand 5th at 8 seconds, Jutta Kleinschmidt 6th at 10 seconds, Vatanen needed 2 seconds more and McRae 4. Titleholder Peterhansel finished 9th at 15 seconds. Best Dutchmen were van Vliet and Wams. They took the 51st place at 1.15 minute.

In the truck category, Hans Bekx was fastest. The Russian Kabirov needed 15 seconds more and Jan de Rooy with number 521 finished 3rd. The second Russian took the 4th place at 23 seconds followed by Gerard de Rooy at 26 seconds behind Bekx. Hugo Duisters needed 6 seconds more and finished just before Vladimir Tchaguine, the titleholder in the truck category. Hans Stacey finished 8th, 40 seconds behind Bekx.

Tom Colsoul wasn't even disappointed afterwards: "Over here you don't win, you can only loose. It was quite narrow and it's almost impossible to overtake. We had to leave the track several times. At one time the truck before us got stuck. Gerard had to swerve, landed on a bump and couldn't hold the wheel. At the end you loose about 15 seconds caused by slower competitors. Tchaguine had the same problem. So I'm very satisfied." The same goes for Gerard de Rooy. "It was like I said; I was quite nervous before the start. Hanging around in Barcelona didn't do good. Now that we've started it's better. I lost my nerves. We didn't have any breakdown and that's the most important thing." Father Jan agreed: "I took a look at the course before the Special. I knew that I couldn't afford a breakdown. You don't win Dakar over here."

To be continued . . . . .

-derooy-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Luc Alphand , Jutta Kleinschmidt , Hiroshi Masuoka , Giniel de Villiers , Fabrizio Meoni , Cyril Despres , Gerard de Rooy , Tom Colsoul , Hugo Duisters , Eric Verhoef , David Fretigne , Jan de Rooy , Arjan Brouwer , Hans Bekx