Gerard de Rooy has high expectations of his new truck in Silk Way Rally

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Gerard de Rooy does not expect he will win the Silk Way Rally, that starts this Saturday from Moscow. But he does have high expectations of his completely renewed Iveco Powerstar.

“When you just look at it, you don’t see a big change, but actually only the engine and the cab are the same. Underneath everything has changed, with the most remarkable changes being the independent suspension, the automatic gearbox and a new chassis”, De Rooy explains in the service park at the Olympic stadium in Moscow, where the Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco trucks will go through scrutineering tomorrow.

There is a lot of interest for De Rooy’s new Iveco. Martin van den Brink is having a look, and the neighbors from Kamaz have to be around conspicuously often. Gerard de Rooy can only smile about it. “They have new things to test as well. Everybody has. That makes this rally, with a very strong field of 21 trucks, extra interesting.” 

A race is the best test

De Rooy sees the Silk Way Rally, with 9500 kms in two weeks-time, crossing a great variety of terrains in Russia, Kazakhstan and China, as the ideal ordeal for his new Iveco. He tested the truck for around 2000 kms in Morocco and France. “Good tests, but the best way to test is in a race, at full speed and under pressure. Running it in and seeing what happens is the main goal here. Which doesn’t mean we are here just for the show. On the contrary. If everything goes according to plan, we can certainly run for the podium.”

Building up at ease

De Rooy has planned to start the first week of the Silk Way Rally at ease, building up his rhythm and getting to know the truck. “There always are some teething problems in a new truck. The big things we already solved in testing, but the small things will show up here. That’s fine, because that’s what we are here for. But I do want to make it to China, where the real big dunes are. That’s where we can show the real potential of this truck.”

Van Genugten fast assistance once more

For Ton van Genugten, driving the Iveco Trakker once more, it is a matter of staying behind De Rooy as close as possible. “For this particular rally I don’t mind being fast assistance once again”, Van Genugten tells. “I’ve never been in this rally before and I’m curious about it. It’s a good opportunity as well to get used to my new Spanish navigator, Ferran Marco.”

The third Iveco on the starting list is in the hands of Artur Ardavichus, of whom Gerard de Rooy has high expectations. The Kazakh – third in the Dakar Rally in 2012 – is driving the ‘old’ Powerstar of De Rooy. “That truck is fully optimized and has proved its worth. I expect Artur to be fast with it and get a good result. Maybe even better than mine, as he doesn’t have to test anything.”

Silk Way Rally