Hans Stacey prepares for his tenth Dakar

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The plunge is taken: Hans Stacey will take part in the coming Dakar, racing an MAN of team Eurol Veka. Stacey, winner of the 2007 Dakar and second in 2012, needed some thought about running the Dakar for the tenth time. “I was done with the Dakar. But if I don’t do it now, I will never do it again. So let’s do it.”

Like with Team De Rooy last year Hans Stacey will be navigated by Belgian Serge Bruynkens. Jan van der Vaet is the on board mechanic. One of the other MAN’s will be driven by Peter Versluis. It is not sure yet if Marcel van Vliet will be competing as well.

Stacey would love to have Van Vliet there as well. “Marcel is very important for the team. We need to have a strong team with three competitive drivers to be able to race at the front. The MAN is a fast truck; Ales Loprais made it to fourth with it. I was sixth with a fast truck and a strong team, but that position wasn’t satisfying. My goal was and still is the podium.”

Stacey went to Morocco about a month ago for testing with the Eurol Veka MAN team, but that didn’t mean he had a return to competition in mind. “On the contrary. It was just for fun and to help the team improve the trucks. But it went surprisingly well and it felt like coming home. After all it basically is the same truck that I won with back in 2007, but an improved version. Also in Morocco we could make some adjustments to improve. That’s what made it harder and harder to resist.”

Stacey feels at home in the renewed Eurol Veka MAN team and in the truck with the yellow mirrors – his trade mark. “I haven’t spent much time in the gym lately, so I will have to work hard from now on to get in shape again and get everything ready for the Dakar. But now the decision is made, I’m looking forward to it.”