Stage for today contains 153km liaison and 274km special stage.
Liaison > 153 km – Special > 274 km
Van Kasteren, Snijders and Rodewald remain just in the lead
As the final showdown of the Dakar rally approaches, the participating pilots in their trucks prepared for a new battle in the large sandpit of the Empty Quarter.
Stage 11 started with a liaison of 151 kilometers. This was followed by a special of 275 kilometers. After that it was straight into the Parc Fermé. The terrain consisted of many dunes, but also treacherous chotts; dried up riverbeds with soft swampy areas that are difficult to spot. If you get it wrong, you run the risk of getting stuck and that you need help to get out again.
Classification leaders Janus van Kasteren jr., Marcel Snijders and Darek Rodewald started the stage third on behalf of Boss Machinery Team De Rooy Iveco. Team De Rooys pilots had agreed on a tactical plan for the second part of the marathon. Van Kasteren jr. completely in line with the plan let Martin Macik pass and the Czech set the pace.
Colleague pilot Mitchel van den Brink waited for his teammate and father Martin van den Brink who had started behind him. In this way both Janus and Martin got backed up by Mitchel. After the rest day, agreements have been made and the youngest Van de Brink takes on the role of fast assistance. He helps the two best placed teams of Team De Rooy if necessary.
As expected, Macik fought hard to recover time in the general ranking. He therefore was leading during the first part of the special. At the third waypoint, however, he had lost time and from that moment on a beautiful 1-2-3 for Team De Rooy seemed to be in the making. The tactical plan paid off perfectly, but things turned a bit bitter when Janus van Kasteren Jr. got his Boss Machinery Team De Rooy Iveco Powerstar stuck in a dune.
Fortunately, Mitchel was able to do his job as a fast assistance truck. He quickly pulled Janus Jr.’s truck free and he was able to continue his race. Janus jr. continued the rest of the special without any problems, but at the finish, the team with starting number 502 had almost completely lost the lead in the general classification. From the 22 minutes and 41 seconds at the start of the day, there is now only 1 minute and 12 seconds left.
Martin van den Brink is ready to strike. The damage on Macik was limited. The number three in the standings is still well behind Janus van Kasteren Jr. by 47 minutes and 46 seconds. Mitchel van den Brink suffered a malfunction in the turbo sensor after helping Janus and lost a lot of time again. In the general classification he is almost 3.5 hours behind in fifth place.
Janus talks about a tough stage: “Man, what a day. I didn’t know they could make a day in a marathon special so tough. There were dunes… There are many teams that got stuck today. We went down one dune crest and then we nose-dived into another dune. Luckily Mitchel pulled us out. We could keep shoveling, but more sand came back every time we shoveled.
We tied a rope around the leaf spring and pulled the truck out. Now it’s all or nothing. Three more days. I am very confident. If we just do our thing and don’t have any bad luck then it can still work out for us. I’m glad I’m in the bivouac. Nothing else on the truck except for one tire that didn’t come off. Everything else is fine.”
Tomorrow part two of the marathon stage awaits with a special stage of 185 kilometers with lots of sand, dunes, fes fes (very soft sand) and lots of chotts! So be careful in the exciting battle for overall victory in Dakar 2023!
Hope for Harskamps’ victory in Dakar Rally alive and kicking
Martin van den Brink approaches leader Van Kasteren.
Time difference is just 72 seconds.
EMPTY QUARTER – The first part of the marathon stage has resulted in a sensational showdown. Martin van den Brink won the stage and has approached teammate Janus van Kasteren in the general ranking to just 72 seconds.
The showdown of the Dakar Rally 2023 promises to be a sensational thriller. “It’s unbelievable. At the finish we are 1 minute and 12 seconds short of taking over the lead in the general ranking. You can’t make this up”
Hope in Harskamp hearts
Alfred Hitchcock could not have imagined the scenario for the last days in the Dakar Rally any better than the teams of Team De Rooy did. Janus van Kasteren started this morning with 22.41 minutes ahead of Martin van den Brink in the first part of the marathon stage. Just after midday (Dutch time) the situation was completely different. The battle is open again and Martin van den Brink seriously revived hope in Harskampse hearts. The pilot of Eurol Team De Rooy Iveco is still in the race to realize his Dakar dream.
“Can you imagine this?”
“What a stage,” said Martin this afternoon from the marathon bivouac just after his victory. “In the beginning, we stayed close to Mitchel and were able to follow the tracks nicely. In this way, we caught up with Macik, Janus and De Baar and we had a good overview of the terrain. At one point we saw Janus van Kasteren’s team lying on their side in between dunes. Mitchel stopped to help him. We went full steam ahead. We won the stage and are very happy with that. It is a pity that we are just 1 minute and 12 seconds short of taking over the lead. Can you imagine this? After such a tough day.”
The special from Shaybah to the Empty Quarter was the first part of the marathon stage and covered 274 kilometers. The pilots will be staying in a special bivouac without any support from their service teams today.
Mitchel van den Brink started the stage through the dunes in the east of Saudi Arabia in second position behind Pascal de Baar. Team De Rooy’s strategy soon became clear. Van den Brink junior dropped back in order to follow the leader Janus van Kasteren and his father.
After a strong opening (fastest time at measuring points three and four) by the trio Martin van den Brink, Erik Kofman and Richard Mouw in the Iveco with number 506, Van Kasteren (fastest at measuring point five) seemed to go for the day’s victory. In the final phase, however, the pilot from Veldhoven ended up on his side in a dune pan. Then Martin could drive his Iveco Powerstar of Eurol Team De Rooy Iveco to victory. Behind Martin, Macik and Pascal de Baar, Van Kasteren finally finished fourth at 21.29 minutes and saw the lead shrink to 1m12s. This means that Martin van den Brink is fully back in the race for the overall victory in the 45th Dakar Rally.
“Everything is possible in Dakar”
And that, gives Martin’s first stage victory in the Dakar Rally 2023 an even extra dimension. The experienced rally driver always believed in a good result. “Everything is possible and we will not give up until the last meters,” Martin said earlier. He still has three days to realize his dream in his fifteenth Dakar Rally.
“We couldn’t go up a dune anymore”
For Mitchel van den Brink, the special went not so well. After a good and strong start, the team of Mitchel, Moi Torrallardona and Jarno van de Pol lost 1 hour 41 minutes. After Mitchel had provided help to the unfortunate Janus van Kasteren, the young Harskamper himself got into trouble. The technique failed the formation of Eurol Team De Rooy Iveco. “The turbo speed sensor broke. We lost power and couldn’t get up a dune anymore. We had to make a lot of detours and that takes a lot of time. Luckily, we made it to the finish.”
In the bivouac, where there is no service crew, his father Martin gave him a spare sensor. “We have already replaced the part and are looking forward to tomorrow,” said 20-year-old Harskamper, who is on his third Dakar Rally. Mitchel, who finished second for the fourth time on Wednesday and won his first stage in Saudi Arabia last Friday, has dropped to fifth place in the general ranking. The gap to Jaroslav Valtr, who is now fourth again, is almost 53 minutes.
‘Hunt for seconds’
Tomorrow the marathon in the Empty Quarter will undoubtedly have a fascinating sequel. In the hunt for seconds, Martin will start first tomorrow. Behind Macik and De Baar, Janus van Kasteren’s team will have to defend their leading position.
After a special of 185 kilometers with a lot of sand and dunes, the pilots and their crews return to the Shaybah bivouac. There, the trucks are handed over to the mechanics of Team De Rooy.
Our three drivers crossed the finishline! Is was a tough stage full of sandy dunes today!
|Stage Rank||Number||Driver||Rally stage time||Time gap to first|
|1||506||Martin van den Brink||3h39m52s||–|
|4||502||Janus van Kasteren||4h01m21s||+18m08s|
|13||511||Mitchel van den Brink||5h21m17s||+1h41m25s|
Overall rally competition Trucks
After rally stage 10
|Overall Rank||Number||Driver||Rally overall time||Gap to first||Penalty|
|1||502||Janus van Kasteren||47h02m12s||–||+15m00s|
|2||506||Martin van den Brink||47h03m24s||+1m12s||–|
|5||511||Mitchel van den Brink||50h30m14s||+3h28m02s||+1m00s|
NO Video by Rallymaniacs due to 56k dial-up connections in the Empty Quarter xD
Video by Omroep Brabant
Video by A.S.O.
Video by IVECO