The penultimate stage of the Dakar Rally 2023 was the last with dunes. These were high and soft, but posed no problem for the experienced Pascal de Baar. With the Riwald Renault he managed to drive from the rear to the front to record the fourth time at the finish. "We are satisfied with what we were able to do today," said De Baar. "More than fourth wasn't in the cards."
Because he had not been able to drive the twelfth stage, Pascal de Baar had to start the thirteenth stage as the nineteenth truck. "But soon we had the first trucks to catch and so we were able to fish more and more in," De Baar told us. "The dunes were really soft and terribly rotten in the beginning by the trucks in front of us, but not so hard for us, so we could push. The car ran like hell and the guys were sharp as a knife."
For De Baar, Marcin Krüger and Stefan Slootjes, it was a matter of keeping things whole and not making any mistakes. That was the only way to achieve another day's success. "Basically it was just driving dunes, being careful not to tip over or get stuck, and pushing as hard as possible. We did stop briefly at Martin van den Brink's place, who was having a breakdown, but he needed power and we couldn't give it to him, so we drove on. Others were undoubtedly able to help him."
Until the end of the 153-kilometer race test, De Baar continued to overtake trucks. In the final section, navigation became more difficult, as the tracks that were there went in all directions and really only distracted. In sixth place, De Baar reached the finish line, which was good for the fourth fastest time.
Automatic translation from the original Dutch version
Source Riwald Dakar Team