Iveco is celebrating the performance of its teams in the annual Dakar Rally, a gruelling 9,000km race over the most demanding terrain in South America.

Iveco entered six trucks in 2017, with Dutchman Gerard de Rooy clinching third place just 41m 19s short of winner Eduard Nikolaev after 12 days of close racing, and Argentinian Federico Villagra a further 20 minutes behind in fourth.

This year’s third placing – which included two stage victories – adds to de Rooy’s wins in 2016 and 2012 and is seen as an excellent result given the multiple punctures his truck suffered over the course of the event.

In total, six IVECO trucks competed in the 2017 installment of Dakar, with all completing the event, a testament to the manufacturer’s strength and reliability.

Iveco Australia Marketing Manager, Darren Swenson, says the brand’s off-road range has a tremendous pedigree and is second to none in the Australian market.

“Local buyers have a lot of choice from IVECO when it comes to off-road vehicles, with many models available across the light, medium and heavy duty weight classes,” he said.

“Beginning with the new car licence Daily 4×4, the range then moves to the Eurocargo 4×4 as successfully used by Daryl Beattie Adventures and a growing number of emergency service organisations.

“For heavier duty applications up to 33t GVM, there’s the Trakker 4×4 and 6×6 range which is increasingly being put to work in mining and exploration applications. And in the even heavier weight classes up to 48t GVM, we have the Astra 6×6 and 8×8 variants which are taking on roles in off-road tipper work, drilling, exploration and similar.

Swenson says the Dakar rally was helping to grow awareness of IVECO’s off-road credentials.

“IVECO is gaining a very solid reputation in demanding off-road racing such as Dakar, and increasingly this is leading to improved sales across the range and a growing list of satisfied local customers, he added.