Boss Machinery Team De Rooy Iveco started the Dakar rally with high ambitions. The team went into battle with two Iveco Powerstar rally trucks. Unfortunately, Vick Versteijnen, Teun van Dal and André van der Sande with start number 504, had to give up quite early in the rally due to technical issues.
Today, this disappointment is offset by the euphoria of the overall victory by the team with start number 502. It is Janus van Kasteren jr. and Marcel Snijders who claim victory in a Dakar rally for the first time. It is already his third title for mechanic Darek Rodewald. In 2012 and 2016 he won the rally alongside Gerard de Rooy.
With a big lead in the general classification, Janus van Kasteren jr. did not have to go to the limit on the last stage. The 138-kilometer special stage went over the beach alongside the Persian Gulf north to Dammam. Janus jr., Marcel and Darek managed in their Iveco Powerstar to finish without any problems.
With a delta of only 6 minutes and 1 second, they clocked a seventh fastest time today. Tatra pilot Paskevicius from Lithuania took the stage victory, just ahead of Team De Rooy pilot Mitchel van den Brink. The Czech Valtr took third place. The leading position of Boss Machinery Team De Rooy Iveco in the general classification was not a moment at risk.
Janus jr. told his story shortly after the finish: “It was still a slippery stage but we stayed calm and had a super party with the mechanics at the finish. Everything is new to me of course. Looking back, it was a wonderful rally. In the beginning, of course, I had some problems, but in the second week I was able to drive very fast. Indescribable. It still needs to sink in a bit. Darek is pretty relaxed about it all. He already had two victories, but Marcel and I didn’t.” The experienced Darek Rodewald also briefly looks back on his 12th Dakar: "It was a tough rally, but that's what we need to win."
Apart from the retirement of Vick Versteijnen, the first week of the Dakar rally was characterized by great duels with Mitchel Van den Brink. As usual, Corné van Drunen worked hard with his mechanics to solve the technical problems: “In the beginning it was difficult. But it just goes to show that you shouldn't give up and always keep going.
Other teams also had a hard time. It was a true battlefield. After Janus' finish today everybody relaxed. We have done it again. For me the third victory with Team De Rooy. Now there is some time to rest, but next week I will start thinking about how we can do better next year. All in all, it was a super rally that I will not quickly forget. After the great work of Corné and his mechanics, the difference could be made in the second week.
When leader Ales Loprais retired from the rally after being involved in a tragic, fatal accident, the Boss Machinery Team De Rooy Iveco crew took the lead in the general classification. In the tough specials through the Empty Quarter, however, the team with start number 502 showed that the team and the Iveco Powerstar were very fast.
Martin Macik and fellow Team De Rooy pilot Martin van den Brink battled for the podium places. In the twelfth stage, Van Kasteren jr., Snijders and Rodewald were able to create a definitive gap. That day they laid the foundation for the overall victory. The Czech Macik finished in second place and the experienced Martin from Harskamp took his first podium ever with third place.
Team owner Gerard De Rooy looks back with satisfaction. “Our goal was to win this Dakar and we succeeded. Super well done by Janus, Marcel and Darek. Hats off. It was a great pity that Martin (Van den Brink - ed.) was unable to keep second place, but it was wonderful to see him on the podium. He was very unlucky the last few days and really deserves to be there. A real reward for the whole team. Mitchel (Van den Brink - ed.) has also presented himself very well, as a real team player. His time will come.”
Navigator Marcel Snijders finally summarizes it all: “It was a rally with ups and downs, but overall a super nice rally and I think we deserved to win.”
Source Boss Machinery Team De Rooy Iveco
Photo: A.S.O./F.Le Floc'h/DPPI