Laundry Day in the Middle East
Van Kasteren recovers well with eighth place
WADI AD DAWASIR – Today was figuratively ‘Monday wash day’ in the Dakar Rally. The participants in the truck category had their ears washed so to speak. Janus van Kasteren recovered well from Sunday’s crash. But the men of Kamaz had no measure today.
Ignacio Casale became the first non-Kamaz rider in fifth place. The Chilean in the Tatra had to give in for more than 20 minutes after 395 kilometers.
Janus van Kasteren was the best Dutchman in eighth place today. The Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco driver was 34 minutes and 19 seconds behind winner Dmitry Sotnikov. For Vick Versteijnen and Martin van den Brink it was a day to forget. They finished (at almost 50 minutes) in eleventh and twelfth place respectively. Mitchel van den Brink drove a great special and came in thirteenth. Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco’s fast assistant completed another solid stage. The constant performance results in a twelfth position in the standings for the time being.
The monster stage counted a total of more than 800 kilometers. In addition to 435 kilometers of liaison, 395 arduous kilometers were waiting in the south of Saudi Arabia. For Martin van den Brink, the story for today was soon over. “We got off to a good start. But after 20 kilometers the tire inflation system turned out to be broken. There was a malfunction in the system and then it is unusable.” For Van den Brink and his men, that meant work to be done. “We kept having to get out of the truck to manually change the tire pressure. That takes a lot of time. In the remainder we continued to drive at a pressure of 2 bar. You also lose time with that. That explains our loss of this day,” said the disappointed driver of Mammoet Rallysport Team De Rooy Iveco. “We were looking forward to it after yesterday’s third place. It was also a wonderful special with beautiful dunes. Unfortunately, just like yesterday, the system broke down. The service team replaced the complete system last night. But unfortunately the problem came back today.”
For Van den Brink, Peter Willemsen and Bernard der Kinder there is nothing left but to hope that the technical people of Team De Rooy can tackle the problem tonight. “We were able to keep up with the Kamaz drivers in front of us in the first part. We hope for a better result tomorrow.”
Van den Brink is seventh in the general classification after the eighth stage. The gap on defending champion Sotnikov rose to almost 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Janus van Kasteren is just placed in front of Martin van den Brink. The pilot from Veldhoven recovered well from Sunday’s nasty crash. However, eighth place was the maximum achievable for today. “It was a real Dakar day with lots of sand and high dunes. We may be a few horsepower short in this area. We also had to start further back today and that doesn’t make it any easier.”
Moreover, Van Kasteren and his companions in the cabin, Marcel Snijders and Darek Rodewald, had to change two tires. Of course, that also takes time. In itself it went well. We have a problem with the tire deflation system on our trucks. I don’t think that’s easy to fix. We have to take it as it is,” said the number six in the general classification before he could start the long road to the bivouac.
Vick Versteijnen looked back on today with mixed feelings. “It was a nice special Lots of variety with fast tracks, canyons and high dunes. The highest dunes so far. Unfortunately, the tire inflation system also failed us. Despite that, we got through it pretty well. Unfortunately we had to turn on a high dune and try again to go up. All this while driving behind Janus. That was difficult, but then we were able to pick it up again.”
As a rally driver, Vick had enjoyed the special. “A lot of fast tracks and canyons. It actually went really well. We got stuck twice in a riverbed, partly due to the faltering tire system. We lost a total of 20 to 25 minutes. Without those problems it really would have been a perfect day. We enjoyed it but it could have been better without the mentioned setback. Hopefully we can find a solution tonight,” said the enthusiastic rally driver from Hilvarenbeek, who finds his formation eighth in the general classification after the eighth stage. Vick Versteijnen, Teun van Dal and Randy Smits are four hours behind the list leader.
The ninth stage counts 287 kilometers against the clock. In addition, there is a liaison of 204 kilometers. The start and finish is in Wadi Ad Dawasir. The participants go into the mountains and have to deal with riverbeds. In the last part, navigation plays an important role.
Another episode of ‘Bivak Brabant Dakar’
What a beautiful scenery today, with lots of sand dunes! Lovely.
All our drivers have crossed the finishline!
Today in ‘stage 8 Al Dawadimi > Wadi Ad Dawasir’:
Janus van Kasteren finished in 8th place (+34m19s),
Vick Versteijnen ended the stage 11th (+48m20s),
Martin van den Brink crossed the line at 12th place (+49m23s), Mitchel van den Brink came up on 13th place, a few minutes behind his father (+52m02s).
Again rough terrain and pretty heavy driving… and we also had some technical issues today.