Dakar 2023: Stage 12 - Martin van den Brink bows his head to technology.

Dakar 2023: Stage 12 - Martin van den Brink bows his head to technology.

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Technical problems affect the Harskamper.

The battle for the victory in the Dakar truck category seems to have been decided early today. Martin van den Brink had some setbacks and lost more than half an hour. “Unfortunate, but glad we arrived in the bivouac.”
Teammate Janus van Kasteren won the stage. Boss Machinery Team De Rooy Iveco started the last two stages in Saudi Arabia with a lead of more than 33 minutes.
After yesterday’s win, the advancement in the general ranking and the loss of time for Van Kasteren, today everything was exactly the opposite. Martin van den Brink opened the stage from the marathon bivouac to Shaybah with a time gap of 1 minute and 12 seconds.
The 52-year-old Harskamper in the Iveco Powerstar of Eurol Team De Rooy Iveco wanted to continue the attack on leader Van Kasteren. However, the team of Martin, Erik Kofman and Richard Mouw soon ran into problems.

“The gearbox didn’t shift higher than fourth gear. With the gear lever in neutral, the gearbox stayed in “drive”. We couldn’t go faster than 90 kilometers per hour. We also had to reset the engine a few times, which went into safety mode and, moreover, a tire came off. Too bad we lost time, but we’re glad we made it through the dunes and arrived in the bivouac. That’s just the way it is. Tomorrow is a new day.”

With today’s victory, Janus van Kasteren is getting close to the overall victory in this Dakar Rally. The pilot from Veldhoven, the Netherlands, starts the final weekend with a lead of 33 minutes and 3 seconds. However, the experienced Martin van den Brink never gives up. “We will do our best again tomorrow. Nothing is certain in the Dakar Rally and we will continue to fight until the last meter.”

“Stuck on a high dune”
Yesterday, son Mitchel van den Brink had problems with the turbo on therefor had to start today far behind father Martin and teammate Janus van Kasteren. The young Harskamper limited the damage and finished second in the special over 185 kilometers. “We had a good pace,” the pilot said afterwards. “We just got stuck on a high dune. We lost a lot of time there. Ben van de Laar pulled us out and I am very happy about that. We couldn’t get out on our own. Given our pace and the time lost on that dune, we could certainly have gone for the stage win. Tomorrow there is a new opportunity and we will try to get a good result together with my father.”

The youngest pilot of Eurol Team De Rooy Iveco will again act as guide for his father. “We start in front of him but then wait for dad. Just like Thursday in the first part, we will take the lead and have him follow us closely. That also worked great yesterday. A nice example of cooperation,” says de Harskamper.

Fourth in standings
In the battle for fourth place, the 20-year-old rally driver did well today. Czech Jaroslav Valtr lost 2 hours and 28 minutes due to problems in the dunes of Saudi Arabia. Van den Brink junior is now fourth overall again.

Tomorrow the rally circus will head to Al-Hofuf. The special, with a last section of dunes, covers 154 kilometers. Sunday is the final stage of the 45th Dakar Rally and the participants will finish on the podium in Dammam after a special of 136 kilometers.


Source Eurol Rallysport

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