Another edition of the most prestigious rally of the world is coming. In the French port of Le Havre, all the machinery has already embarked on a ship and will be on a journey to South America for a month. The 41st edition of the famous Dakar kicks off on January 6th, and the North Bohemian team, MKR Technology, will again have three racing trucks to fight for the podium.
"In the cockpit will be experienced Dutch pilots Martin van den Brink, Janus van Kasteren and Gert Huzink. For us, it will be the sixth Dakar, with every previous one being completely different, so I'm very curious as to what the next one will be like. I would like to bring forth great plans and ideas, but they always have to meet with a huge dose of luck. My main wish is therefore to get all right and healthy to the finish. Any success we know that we can do is directly dependent on it. Dakar will be very difficult in the dunes this year, "said Mario Kress, lead designer in MKR Technology, who has prepared three trucks for Renault Trucks for Dakar.
From the very beginning, the North Bohemian truck will be a one to watch. It boasts one unique thing. Mitchel van den Brink will be the youngest participant of Rally Dakar. The 16-year-old son of Martin van den Brink replaced Daniel Kozlovsky, a mechanic from Roudnice, and is now heading for his first Dakar. The third person the cockpit will be the proven navigator Wouter de Graaff. The crew already had the opportunity to find their chemistry in previous races, so it is not a step into the unknown."The minimum age for participation in the toughest rally of the world is eighteen years. We had to ask for a number of exceptions and get permission not only from the ASO organizer,"said successful Dutch pilot Martin van den Brink from the Mammoet Rallysport team, who will sit in his truck with a"nose". This truck is widely known as Sherpa. The second crew of the Mammoet Rallysport team in the Renault Trucks K520 is Janus van Kasteren, mechanic Frank van Hoof and navigator Erwin van den Bosch. The crews start with numbers 506 and 531. "We are not here as tourists. We both want to fight for the podium. I am very happy about the trust that I has been put in me this year. We are a team, so we will help each other to achieve the best possible results, "said pilot Janus van Kasteren.
The third truck from the garage of Židovice designers starts again in the colours of the Dutch team Riwald Dakar Team, this time with the number 512. In the cabin will be a trio - pilots Gert Huzink, Rob Buursen and Gerrit Schooneveld.
Even before moving into the port of Le Havre, special trucks have had their traditional stops. The teams have behind a challenging month full of presentations before the new Dakar. They paid a visit to the Dutch Volvo Group plant, the Renault Trucks plant in Paris, obligatory Mammoet Rally Sport team presentation at home in Harskamp, and the highly popular RTL GP Pre-Proloog show, where Dutch crews heading to Dakar are presented in a bombastic way.
The 41st edition of the renowned long distance competition will be completely different this year. The two-week race will take place only in Peru. This year, the crew will face a tough three thousand kilometres of timed sections, three-quarters of them will take place in the sand dunes. In sum, there will be 5,000 kilometres in ten stages, that the crews will have to deal with. The Rally starts on January 6th in Lima and ends on January 17th again in the capital. "After a long time, boys will enjoy Christmas and the end of the year in their homes. They head to South America as late as January 3rd. However, they will go through very hard two weeks and we are all curious to see what the new year will bring after all the changes, Mario Kress is looking forward to Dakar in January. He will be on the spot with his team of mechanics to ensure the technical service of all three trucks.