A day intended to be a glorious day, ended up in a tragedy De Rooy junior went for a tumble, leaving his DAF truck on its side and threw away the stage victory and the 1st place. Team members uninjured!!! It all started so beautiful. On the ...
A day intended to be a glorious day, ended up in a tragedy
De Rooy junior went for a tumble, leaving his DAF truck on its side and threw away the stage victory and the 1st place. Team members uninjured!!!
It all started so beautiful. On the first real tough day of DAKAR 2005 Gerard de Rooy fought a blood-curdling fight with four-fold winner Vladimir Tchaguine. Preceding the Special from Agadir to Samara (381 kilometres) De Rooy junior was 1.10 minute adrift of the Russian.
At checkpoint 1, after 111 kilometres, Gerard finished first with a time of 1.41 hour, followed by the Tatra pilot, Karel Loprais and Hans Bekx. They followed at respectively 1.42 minute, 2.59 minutes and 3.12 minutes, while Jan de Rooy was 5th at 3.19 minutes. At that moment Kabirov already handed in 8.25 minutes.
After 184 kilometres, the 24-years old De Rooy again passed the checkpoint first, this time 1.45 minute ahead of Tchaguine. Jan de Rooy took the 3rd place being 5.51 minutes behind. Loprais needed 7.21 minutes more, Bekx 8.47 minutes, Kabirov 12.49 minutes and the third Russian Mardeev even 16.21 minutes. Stacey and Duisters passed checkpoint 2 at the 9th and 10th place. At checkpoint 3, after 290 kilometres the Team Gauloises de Rooy expressed its incredible power. When the smoke of battle had cleared, Gerard passed first, 14.51 minutes ahead of his father Jan who showed Tchaguine the back of his truck. At the end the Russian needed 2.27 minutes more than the Dutch haulier and 17.48 minutes more than last year's number 3. Kabirov took the 4th place at checkpoint 3. Karl Loprais 5th at 18.01 behind young De Rooy. Hans Bekx needed 20.15 minutes more and Mardeev, the 3rd Russian 21.31 minutes. Hugo Duisters passed 8th being 34.30 minutes behind. Hans Stacey followed at 36 seconds.
Everything seemed to be ready to make a glorious entry into the bivouac. Than fate stroke. Just at an unexpected moment the youngest De Rooy ended up on his left wheel after a jump which made the truck capsize. "The sun was shining right into our face. I landed in a big gap in the road; a gap that wasn't in the road book. When we were on our side I immediately kicked out the windscreen after I saw that nobody was harmed. We have quite some damage but it can all be fixed. I have to wait for Hugo Duisters now, because the fuel filter broke off so I can't drive," tells a shaken and pale junior. The truck that just had been pulled right by father Jan and Kamaz pilot Mardeev, looks wrinkled with the broken windows and doors. "Everything can be fixed. When Hugo comes and we work hard we can go on again within an hour and a half. We do have to repair whole night long at the bivouac," says Gerard de Rooy.
Father Jan, at that time still on the 2nd place, looses his glorious second place because of his son's crash and will finish at the end at a 5th place. He is also quite shake: "this is the second time that I get the shock of my life. It was a hard test, less for the machines than for men," tells a disappointed Jan de Rooy.
The Russians and Czechs of course took advantage of Gerard de Rooy's faux pas. An untouched Tchaguine finished 1st, being 1.46 minute ahead of de Azevedo, 4.26 minutes of Loprais and 5.08 minutes of team-mate Kabirov. Jan de Rooy, who obviously lost quite some time, finished 5th at 9.13 minutes, 2 seconds ahead of Hans Bekx, 47 seconds ahead of Mardeev and almost 1 minute ahead of Hans Stacey.
Vladimir Tchaguine is on a comfortable lead, 6.18 minutes ahead of Kabirov and 7.34 minutes ahead of de Azevedo. Loprais takes the 4th place at 11.02 minutes, Mardeev 5th at 13.54 minutes. Jan de Rooy fell back to the 6th place, 15.49 minutes at Tchaguine. Bekx takes the 7th place at 16.04 minutes and Stacey the 8th place at 28.29 minutes.
Gerard de Rooy can only fight for the places of honour. A place on the stand seems almost impossible; the Russians don't make enough mistakes for this. According to Jan de Rooy, who in the meantime arrived at the bivouac, there's still no reason for panic "Gerard will start tomorrow and it's only the beginning of the Rally; anything can still happen. He's not without any chance yet."
Gerard de Rooy in bivouac
Gerard de Rooy has arrived the bivouac with a delay of 3.32.41 hours behind Tchaguine. 12 seconds adrift the Team of Hugo Duisters. The youngster De Rooy stand now 48th in the overall list with a delay of 3.33.51 hours.
To be continued . . . . .