South Africa’s TreasuryOne Motorsport Dakar rookies, Hennie de Klerk and Gerhard Schutte eased into the 2018 event with a measured drive in the short, opening 31km stage around Pisco in Peru on Saturday. The pair took no chances over the dune stage to bring their Amarok home a provisional 59th on the day.
“Well, all the nerves and excitement of the build-up are over and we are racing at last,” de Klerk smiled at the finish. “Today was a tiny taste of what’s still to come, but still it was pretty tough — we had a clean enough run and that should see us start in 59th tomorrow if we stay where we are once the rest of the cars come home.”
The day was however the culmination of a dream for de Klerk, who has no illusions about what lies ahead. “Sunday is the real start of the Dakar — its straight into the jaws of the dunes tomorrow, so there’s nowhere to hide. “The objective is to be on the finishing podium in two weeks time, so we are taking it day by day — one step at a time!”
It’s an early start for the TreasuryOne team and the rest of the Dakar car field on Sunday with the 6am start (13h00 SA time) heading straight into the dunes as Day 2’s 267km challenge tests crews to the limit around Pisco — follow the action as it happens on TreasuryOne’s Live Dakar Daily Blog at www.motorsportmedia.co.za.