De Rooy without troubles through stage 11, Van Genugten with ‘emergency navigator’
Yesterday, Gerard de Rooy expressed the wish to finish a stage without any problems, today that wish was answered. In the eleventh stage, from Dunhuang to Jiayuguan with a special of 237 km, De Rooy finished seventh, only 5 minutes and 45 seconds from stage winner Martin Kolomy. Ton van Genugten came in tenth, with Bart de Gooyert as a stand-in navigator.
Due to a neck injury Serge Bruynkens was unable to enter the stage with Artur Ardavichus. Ferran Marco, the co-pilot of Ton van Genugten, was therefore transferred to Ardavichus (who finished eight, 14 seconds behind De Rooy) and Bart de Gooyert, driver of one of the service trucks of Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco, was given the difficult task of navigating with Van Genugten. “That was a bit of a shock, but it didn’t go too bad. At least we got all the waypoints. As a debutant navigator, I was very happy with that”, De Gooyert said.
There was no time for a little sightseeing trip to the most western gate of the Great Wall of China, which begins in Jiayuguan, for the men of Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco, as work had to be done. In the bivouac, Bart de Gooyert changed the racing suit (borrowed from Gerard de Rooy) for his work overall again to start his normal job as a mechanic, while Serge Bruynkens took care of preparing the roadbook for tomorrow - a stage of 254 km with many dunes - so De Gooyert doesn’t have to start unprepared tomorrow, in case it is needed again.
Also for Van Genugten it was a difficult task, to start the stage with a brand new and unexperienced navigator. “But Bart did a good job. The stage gave him the chance to get used to navigating. It was a nice, fast stage. I’ve enjoyed. We waited 3 minutes for Gerard and have not seen him after that. So we could just be quick today, without having to assist.”
This was thanks to the fact that De Rooy did not have any problems today. “It was a lot better than the rest of the week. It was a beautiful special, it was just a shame about the dust. Ton has been waiting, so we had the advantage of that 3-minute difference by driving without dust. But after about 100 kms we came into the dust of the Opel (the Hungarian Balazs Szalay) who had started ahead of Ton. It was on a fast track, where we were both racing with a pace of about 140 km/h, and I couldn't get close enough to get past. When the track made a turn, we had a clear view and we could get closer, but every time we were close enough, it turned back and we were in the dust. Only 80 kms before the finish line I could finally pass, otherwise the result would have been better. And just before the end, it started to rain a bit. A fine shower against the dust, but just too late.”