Gerard de Rooy fights back after day of disaster "We've taken it easy. We've got the wind up a bit. Besides we suffered from stiff muscles and a cricked neck" The rally has begun. With great violence and without fear or favour. It happened...
Gerard de Rooy fights back after day of disaster
"We've taken it easy. We've got the wind up a bit. Besides we suffered from stiff muscles and a cricked neck"
The rally has begun. With great violence and without fear or favour.
It happened late in the afternoon yesterday: Gerard was the victim of a serious crash. A few hours later it was the turn of the third Kamaz Team from Ilzigar Mardeev. The Russian, who helped Gerard some hours ago, was forced to quit. His mechanics crashed during a test that they carried out after servicing in the bivouac. Both men, not wearing helmets, were seriously injured and taken into the hospital. The truck was total-loss. But also top-drivers like Ari Vatanen and the winner in 2002 and 2003, Hiroshi Masuoka suffered serious problems. All this only after 2 days of real rally . . .
Truck number 516 was presentable to be seen again this morning at 07.00 a.m. The Team Gauloises de Rooy made a supreme effort. The cabin was cobbled up again, fitted with new wind and side screens and the left door that they took out of Frits Vlijmincx' service truck did the rest. As the roll bar wasn't damaged during the crash, Gerard de Rooy got permission from the organization to start this morning at the 48th place, being 3.33.51 hours behind the Russian Tchaguine. A stage of 622 kilometres from Smara in Morocco to Zouaret in Mauritania. At that time the number of trucks already reduced to 64.
Jan de Rooy started due to the loss of time of his son Gerard first. He started fast, while Gerard had to deal with the stragglers. Junior didn't take any risk, as the real job has only just begun. Just before checkpoint 1, after about 215 kilometres he encountered his father who was stopped by a defect intercooler. Gerard waited for about 10 minutes, but when he saw that Hugo Duisters had to help Jan, Gerard left. Young De Rooy climbed up to an 8th place, about 27 minutes from the leader Tchaguine who seems to be settled already. Tchaguine increased his lead on Bekx from 9 to 10 minutes and at last to 18.02 minutes. The second Kamaz pilot Kabirov only had to defend his 3rd place which kept him on a steady 2nd place overall. Next to the surprising 2nd place of Bekx also Hans Stacey was at the top. He left both Tatra pilots Loprais and de Azevedo behind him and finished 4th. Gerard de Rooy at the end took the 7th place at 31.02 minutes behind Tchaguine, who won his 3rd successive stage victory. His father, who was back in the race again with the support of Hugo Duisters, started with a race to recover lost ground, which resulted in a 12th place at 1.17.46 hours from the winner of the stage. Hugo Duisters needed a bit more time. He finished 21st at 1.34.16 hour.
"We've taken it easy today. We've got the wind up a bit. We also suffered from stiff muscles and a cricked neck. Besides we had to overtake quite a few trucks and that takes time. We also spent about 10 minutes when my father had a breakdown. But when we saw that we couldn't help we moved on," tells Gerard de Rooy on arrival at the bivouac. Tom Colsoul adds: "it was a beautiful stage; the first part was quite flat and fast, followed by the sand dunes. A perfect day."
Tchaguine keeps the lead in the overall standings, being 25.34 minutes ahead of team mate Kabirov. De Azevedo takes the 3rd place at 33.59 minutes and Bekx moved up to the 4th place at 34.06 minutes from the Russian leader. Loprais is 5th and Hans Stacey 6th at 49.28 minutes. Jan de Rooy takes the 7th place at 1.33.35 hour from Tchaguine. His son Gerard climbed up to the 29th place, but did need 4.04.53 hours more than the Russian. Hugo Duisters fell back to the 33rd place at 5.13.45 hours behind Tchaguine.
To be continued . . . . .