SA Privateer Taking on the 2018 Dakar Race
Hennie De Klerk is the only privateer from South Africa who will be taking up the gauntlet of the most exigent off-road challenge in the whole world: the 2018 Dakar Rally.
A Win Automatically Qualifies De Klerk
De Klerk managed to win the Dakar Challenge in June 2017, at the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race, and this is what secured him entry in to the South American leg of Dakar. This has long been a dream for De Klerk, and, as Chief Executive Officer of TreasuryOne, he says that he has managed to find a way to make use of the adrenaline surrounding his business dealings!
January 6 – January 20, 2018
The 2018 Dakar Rally will be taking place from the 6th of January through to the 20th, and will see De Klerk and his team departing for Lima on January 1st.
They will spend some days in the Peruvian capital, and then join the rest of the racing teams, drivers and riders alike, as they continue on towards Bolivia, and then finally end their journey in Cordoba, which will be hosting the end of the Dakar Rally for the very first time.
A Good Starting Position for De Klerk and His Team
De Klerk and his team, Number 353, will be starting their Dakar Rally race off in position number 54, a significant accomplishment when you consider that this is their first time in the race, and they do not have international seeding.
De Klerk has stated that he and his team are very proud of the position they are starting in, and that they had expected a far lower seeding number. He said that the fact that they had managed to win the Dakar Challenge in Botswana in June had obviously advanced their position.
Some Time with De Klerk
De Klerk apparently started his motorsport journey with a Porsche 924 back in 2008, competing in the Porsche 924 challenge. He then migrated to off-road racing in 2011 with the SA Off-Road Racing Association, SANORA, which has now been renamed SACS, the South African Cross Country Racing Series.
When asked what it was like going in as a privateer rather than racing for an automaker, De Klerk stated that the fact that the race was as expensive to compete in as it was meant that he would probably only be able to do it once as a privateer.
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