Silk Way Rally 2019: A new challenge to Van Loon

Silk Way Rally 2019: A new challenge to Van Loon

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It is the first appearance for Erik van Loon in the Silk Way Rally. The rally starts in Irkutsk in Russia and goes through Mongolia to Dunhuang in China and starts on 7 July. Van Loon welcomes Sébastien Delaunay as navigator in the Toyota Hilux. So, new challenges towards Dakar 2019.

Sébastien Delaunay is 37 years old and lives in France. He has nine appearances in the Dakar and reached the podium in the T2 and T3 class. Last year he participated in Dakar with Lafay in a Peugeot from the French Easy Rally Raid team. Van Loon is looking forward to the collaboration with Delaunay: "Sébastien has a lot of experience in different cars with several drivers. I hope that we have a good connection in the car. It will take some time getting used to it after years of Dutch navigation, now the language will be English.”

Van Loon is also enthusiastic about the Silk Way Rally. “The last years it was just at the wrong time, during the summer vacation of my children. Now is the rally a bit earlier and shorter, so I can finally participate. I have heard from several drivers that the dunes in China are huge, so I am really looking forward to it.”

The rally starts in Irkutsk in the Siberian part of Russia. They will drive towards Mongolia through forest roads, riverbeds and dusty tracks where speed will be high. There the landscape changes to forests, steppes and mountains. Navigation will be important there. In China the rally has sand, canyons, steps and the huge dunes of the Gobi Desert. The finish will be on 16 July in Dunhuang.

Van Loon wants to finish in the top five in a competitive field. “There are several good drivers with good cars, like Al Rajhi, Al-Attiyah, Menzies or Serradori. So, it won't be easy. But we are going for it and want to make our first collaboration a good one.” Van Loon and Delaunay will start with number 205.

Source: Press release of Van Loon Racing
 

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