Without doubt, Iveco was the dominant player in the 2016 edition of the gruelling 9 000-km, 13-stage Dakar rally. As would be expected, the company is ecstatic about the performance of its vehicles.
Iveco is really on a roll! Its champion of the European mediumweight class, the Eurocargo, was named International Truck of the Year 2016. Then, its Magelys was named International Coach of the Year 2016, which was followed by the brand’s dominance of the 2016 Dakar rally.
This was certainly one of the most competitive Dakar events ever, with five different brands finishing in the top ten of the truck category.
The top-five ranking featured three Ivecos – in first, third and fifth positions – while the fourth of the five finishing Ivecos rounded up the top ten.
Unfortunately, Czech driver Aleš Loprais – the sixth Iveco entrant, who had been running strongly in his number 503 Iveco Powerstar – fell out of the race during the fifth stage, due to mechanical problems.
The driver of the moment, though, was without doubt Gerard de Rooy, leader of Team Petronas De Rooy Iveco, in vehicle number 501. The Dutch driver claimed his second victory in the Dakar’s truck category.
This year, De Rooy drove with Spanish co-driver Moises Torrallardona. He dedicated his victory to his previous navigator, Belgian Jurgen Damen, who passed away last year. Read FOCUS’s exclusive post-race interview with De Rooy over the page!
On the podium in third place, Federico Villagra, affectionately known as “El Coyote”, was followed by millions of local fans in his number 514 Iveco Powerstar (Iveco is also market leader in Argentina).
Ton van Genugten finished fifth in vehicle number 516, an Iveco Trakker. Van Genugten and co-driver Anton van Limpt (both from Holland) pulled a rabbit out of the Dakar 2016 hat ... while 516 was one of two quick service trucks supporting the team’s lead drivers – De Rooy, Villagra and Loprais – Van Genugten and Van Limpt succeeded in staying ahead of the other leading competitors and securing fifth place.
In fact, Van Genugten missed a stage win only because he stopped to support his team leaders, demonstrating the strong spirit of the Iveco team.
Behind the wheel of another Iveco Trakker, this time vehicle number 518, was Spaniard Pep Vila. He and his co-driver, fellow Spaniard Xavi Colome Roqueta, fought until the end to finish in tenth place. This was Vila’s sixth Dakar with Iveco and his fifth with Team De Rooy.
Naturally, the Dakar rally is also a great opportunity for Iveco to highlight the performance of the Iveco Cursor 13 engines – manufactured in Bourbon Lancy, France, and specifically prepared for the race by FPT Industrial at its R&D centre in Arbon, Switzerland.
The 12,9-litre, six-cylinder Cursor 13 developed 671 kW (900 hp) at 2 200 r/min, and proved its performance and durability throughout the race.
“We are very pleased with the resounding success and triumph of Iveco’s vehicles in the 2016 edition of the Dakar, We are also proud of the recognition in terms of the Eurocargo International Truck of the Year 2016 and Magelys International Coach of the Year 2016 titles,” commented Pierre Lahutte, Iveco brand president.
“Iveco puts the excellent reliability of its trucks on the trails of the Dakar rally, enabling the teams’ outstanding pilots to give their best performance in the race. I would like to thank Gerard De Rooy, Federico Villagra, Anton Van Genugten, Pep Vila and Ales Loprais and their remarkable teams for the determination and drive they have shown,” he concluded.