South Africa’s reigning Dakar car rookie champion Hennie de Klerk will head back to Peru for the 2019 event.
De Klerk says he intends to finish among the top 20 contenders in the world’s toughest motor race between January 6 and 17, 2019. “We must return to the Dakar Rally,” Hennie said.
“We didn’t think that the bug would bite us again. If you had asked me if I was going back in February, I would have thought you were mad. “We have, however, just committed to enter Dakar 2019. “Preparations are already well under way for the Treasury One team and we hope to announce some exciting developments around our wheels and partnerships in due course.”
Meanwhile, the team will travel to Namibia six times over the course of the next few weeks to practice in the sand.
“The 5 000-kilometre Dakar 2019 will be run over 10 stages, seven of which will mostly be through sand and dunes.
“The dunes are the toughest and most challenging part of the Dakar, but they are also my favourite and we have the chance to test in very similar conditions in the Namib,” De Klerk said.
“Our strategy last year was to race at 80% of our capacity.
Our goal was simply to finish, but we dreamed of making it into the top 30 and were ecstatic to end up 28th overall and first rookies home.
“This year we plan first and foremost to finish, but we will dream of finishing among the top 20 cars overall.”
Treasury One company CEO De Klerk has been racing off-road cars for five years, with his Dakar rookie win – the first ever for a South African crew – the highlight of his career.
The TreasuryOne crew was one of 103 car entries, of which 47 completed the race.
They set off 57th with their Amarok V8 bakkie and finished 28th overall.