Eurol in Dakar: At the finish of a tough journey
Eurol supports a lot of competitors of the Dakar Rally. We brought you daily updates during the rally and now it’s time to hear from the heroes themself. Eurol in Dakar reached the finish in Buenos Aires today!
A lot has happend over the last two weeks in three countries across South America. 13 of the best crews in the world of Rally Raids finished in the toughest rally of the world with support of Eurol. Steven Rotsaert was one of them. The Belgian scored his best result in five participations, and was happy with that: “This was a good Dakar for us and finishing 14th was unexpected. Every day you start with the goal to finish and you have to try the best you can. Setbacks, wrong expectations and difficulties are normal in this game.”
The Mammoet Rallysport team of Martin van den Brink and Pascal de Baar had some wonderful result and learned a lot with the new Renault Sherpa. Van den Brink commented afterwards: “Our goal was to finish in the top-10 and we didn’t make that. But considering the hectic and difficult year we had, we need to be satisfied with the result. We finished with both trucks, won two stages and fought for the top-5 in the overall classification.”
The Eurol/Veka MAN Rallyteam came to Paraguay with high expectations. Due to several circumstances it was a difficult rally for Hans Stacey and Peter Versluis, who said afterwards: “We had a lot of bad luck and that’s a shame. We know we have a lot of work to do for next year to come back stronger.”
The Riwald Dakar Team lost Gert Huzink in the early stages and Ed Wigman had to do them pride. Wigman offered service to a lot of competitors who were stuck on the stage and he talked about his highlights afterwards: “Racing through the very soft sand with a truck of 10 tons and 800 bhp was amazing. It was my highlight of the rally.”
Aad van Velsen was very happy after the Dakar Rally this year. Van Velsen completed only his third rally and was satisfied with the result. “I’m so happy, my smile won’t even fit in the truck anymore”, Van Velsen said afterwards. “This was amazing. We drove faster this year and didn’t take a lot of risks. Every time we looked at the classification, we were surprised.”
After his debut last year, Frank Tilburgs raised the bar a bit. With a good preparation throughout the year Tilburgs was satisfied at the finish with an 18th place: “It was a though rally, we worked the whole year with the whole team and the reward that we finished the rally is very good. I think we can be happy with the result.”
Jan van de Laar had a few tense moments in the last days. Reaching Buenos Aires was the main objective: “The stages we drove were fantastic and though, I enjoyed it very much.”
Kees Koolen had his highlight of the rally in the fifth stage when he won on his new Barren Racing quad. “Stage five was fantastic with the win for the Barren-quad. It was a new quad and we didn’t test much, but this was a good test.”
Erik van Loon could have been in the top-5 at the of the rally, without the fuel-problem in stage three. A 14th place was left for Erik van Loon who was satisfied with the result: “We did everything we could. The Toyota is fantastic, a real treat to drive in. I’m happy with that and I didn’t suffer very much.”
De Coronel brothers finished together, but it wasn’t easy at all. Tim Coronel said afterwards: “I didn’t have any problems but Tom a lot. I decided to stay behind him and help him when he had problems.” Best of all: Mission accomplished for Tim and Tom Coronel.
Xavier de Soultrait wasn’t a lucky man when he hit trouble in the penultimate stage. He was relieved to get to the finish in Buenos Aires: “After the toughest day of my life, I’m very happy to be at the finish. My team did a great job to help me back on the way in the last stage.”
Robert van Pelt was on the verge of giving up a few times but remembered why he started the journey: “In the toughest moments, I remembered why I did it and found a lot of energy from that. I’m proud that I finished this Dakar.”
Maikel Verkade came to finish and did finish in Buenos Aires. Emotions were there for certain for Verkade who was very happy he made it: “I didn’t go for a good result, I came just finish. It was very tough but I received both of them.” Verkade finished well in the top-50.