TreasuryONE Motorsport duo retire from gruesome Dakar

Hennie de Klerk and Juan Möhr have been forced to retire the TreasuryONE Motorsport Hilux from Dakar 2024. After their best day of the race so far on Thursday’s first day of the 48-hour Chrono stage where they sat 29th overnight, the Pretoria duo suffered another drive shaft failure and were unable to escape the thick Arabian Desert Empty Quarter dunes with rear drive only.

“Unfortunately we have to retire from Dakar 2024,” an exhausted Hennie de Klerk confirmed on Saturday. “We suffered another driveshaft failure and lost the front drive and we just could not get through the dunes without four wheel drive. The Empty Quarter dunes are extremely soft and we could only manage five kilometres from 10 am until five in the evening, when we finally threw in the towel.

“By then we’d lost two of our sand ladders, rolled the car once and eventually the hydraulic jacks also gave in. I also tweaked my back and was airlifted to Riyadh for a precautionary check. Happily I was given a clean bill of health and it’s just a muscle injury, but still quite sore. Juan stayed with the car in the desert overnight and got it sorted with another shaft that was flown in, and he drove out on Saturday morning.”

The tiny Pretoria team, which built its own more affordable and simpler to run V8 Hilux with WCT Engineering with the single focus on racing Dakar 2024, had endured huge challenges from the get-go. They suffered a Prologue penalty to see them start at the back on Saturday, fought back on Sunday only to drop back again with another propshaft issue on Monday.

Tuesday brought good progress, but Wednesday was once again a fight into the night with two wheel drive only, before a great day on Thursday and then Friday’s race-ending challenges.

“We are well and the TreasuryONE Hilux is driving on four wheels, but we are unable to continue,” 2018 Dakar Rookie winner de Klerk concluded. “So sadly, our Dakar 2024 dream is over. It was tough while it lasted, with a few silver linings on those clouds along the way.

“The entire TreasuryONE team is overwhelmed by the huge support we enjoyed from back home and we would like to thank one and all of our fans for the support and concern. We will be back!”