Gerard de Rooy loses time in stage 2 but with a fast performance in stage 3 his truck is the first to cross the finish line, climbing back to 5th position overall
The second and third stages of the Africa Eco Race took the competitors across varied terrains that included the renowned Merzouga Dunes of Erg Chebbi, fast tracks, stony tracks and the soft ground of the Oued Draa crossing, as well as a section that put the participants’ navigation skills to the test.
Gerard De Rooy, PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO Team leader, got off to a flying start on the second stage, on board his #400 IVECO Powerstar, closing in on leader Vladimir Vasilyev. However, some technical issues slowed him down and he crossed the line in seventh position.
The third stage, with a timed section of 400 km, was fast over very stony ground that was very hard on the tyres. During the race, the PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO Team leader stopped to provide assistance to a motorbike rider who had crashed, and was credited back with the 25 minutes he lost with this stop. In the last 80 km of the day, the tyres were badly damaged by the rocks; De Rooy chose to drive carefully instead of stopping to replace them and lose time. With the day’s good performance, the Dutchman’s IVECO Powerstar was the first truck to cross the finish line, so that De Rooy climbed back to fifth position in the overall classification.
Wuf Van Ginkel experienced technical difficulties, which started with a broken water reservoir, and was forced to leave the stage.
The fourth stage has the longest leg in the Africa Eco Race. The competitors will first drive on a track that is part sand an part rocks that will require great attention from the navigators. This will be followed by a wide track towards the southern Moroccan desert, where the vehicles will find fast tracks with few visual points to help with navigation. Close to Oued Hamra will be an off-road section followed by a dune crossing before finishing the stage on a very fast wide track all the way to the Fort Chacal bivouac.