Dakar 2022:  Satisfaction and resignation for Team De Rooy Iveco drivers

 "This is the maximum achievable resuslt for us at the moment"
"We are heading for the finish with a good feeling. We are satisfied, because this is the maximum achievable result for us." That is what Janus van Kasteren of Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco said after the eleventh stage in the Dakar Rally. A fifth place overall is the result of a consistent rally in Saudi Arabia. Tomorrow the rally drivers will close the event in the Middle East.
Today there was one last tough special on the program. Behind the very strong Kamaz men, where Eduard Nikolaev was chosen to win the special today and leader Sotnikov limited the damage with a third place behind Karginov, Martin Macik became the best non-Kamaz rider. The Czech finished fourth and trumped Shibalov (5th place). Janus van Kasteren was again the best Dutchman and fastest man of Team De Rooy.
The Veldhovenaar had to give in 24 minutes to the stage winner, but there was a clear identifiable reason for this. "After 60 kilometers we discovered that we had two broken spring leaves. We were forced to drop the pace a bit. It was otherwise a beautiful stage with beautiful dunes."
The leader of Team De Rooy is satisfied with the end result. "For now, this is what is possible for us. If the four Kamaz drivers don't drop out, we can only finish fifth. We are fifth so we have to be satisfied," said Janus, who, like his teammates, is preparing for the final day. "We are going to the finish and have to accept that we cannot keep up with the Kamazzen, but we are the best of the rest."
'Satisfaction' is also the feeling that prevails at Martin van den Brink "We can only be satisfied with this result." The Mammoet Rallysport men finished ninth today. Martin is sixth in the general classification.
With one special stage to go, the 51-year-old Harskamper is well on his way to achieving his best final placing in the Dakar Rally. Current sixth place surpasses last year's eighth position. "I am especially pleased that with the exception of one day when we were twelfth, we have finished in the top ten every day."
In the special over 346 kilometers around Bisha, Martin van den Brink, Peter Willemsen and Bernard der Kinderen didn't have an easy ride. "We had a problem with the right front tire. It always deflated to 0 bar. We then had to reduce speed to inflate the tire again. Bernard has not seen anything of the test all day. He has been busy for three hours to pump up the tire," said Martin about the 'tough day' for Bernard der Kinderen. However, the experienced co-pilot is used to something. The 61-year-old truck mechanic from Oirschot is in his 14th Dakar Rally. Der Kinderen previously participated in Le Dakar with Hans Stacey, Ales Loprais, Ton van Genugten and Marcel van Vliet. As a teammate of Martin van Brink, Bernard did not have much to do during the specials in this rally. In the bivouac, however, the veteran remained closely involved in the technical matters linked to the Iveco Powerstar.
For Martin van den Brink, eighth place was the maximum achievable today. At first, the Dakar expert seemed to finish behind son Mitchel. "It indeed seemed that way. However, Mitchel missed a waypoint and therefore received a penalty. It is fine for us."
According to Martin, the fact that the Mammoet Rallysport driver does not finish as the best Dutchman is no problem. "We have to use our common sense and be on the podium tomorrow as numbers five, six and eight. That is especially important now. Janus is fifth and the target was also top five. I am satisfied with my best Dakar in history. We have learned a lot and know what to do after the problems at the beginning of the rally. For the moment we are satisfied. With team De Rooy we are the first drivers behind the Kamaz men. We know what we can improve and have enough homework for next year."
The final stage will bring the rally circus to the podium in Jeddah tomorrow. On the way to the final chord, the participants still have a special of 164 kilometers. "We also have to stay focused on that short special. Every year someone drops out in the last stage, which is often underestimated."
Mitchel van den Brink can also close the Dakar Rally 2022 satisfied. The quick assistant of Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco seems to lay claim to a very creditable eleventh place in the final standings. Today the young trucker had to work hard. "It was the toughest day of the rally for me. We really got into some serious dunes. We rode together with Pascal de Baar in the beginning and overtook him later. However, we lost time again looking for a waypoint. That didn't work. We got a time penalty. We now finish in twelfth position. Too bad about that mistake, otherwise a great ride. We saw my father standing in the dunes. He had been standing for a while. We are very satisfied and look back on a beautiful day."
So did teammate Vick Versteijnen. "Today was without a doubt the toughest special for me. We had to cross the highest dunes. You had to pay attention there. We saw several riders who didn't make it to the top and had to came down again."
The 36-year-old rally driver from Hilvarenbeek is also satisfied with the result today. The team of Versteijnen, Teun van Dal and Randy Smits crossed the line in eighth. "We had a flat tire in the beginning. Then the pace was good again. Later we pulled Martin loose. That took about 5 minutes because the tow rope broke. The last part of the route consisted of many short climbing tracks,  a stretch with all short dunes. There we couldn't go faster than 30, 40 kilometers per hour. It was hard work, but also challenging. We are eighth and apart from the flat tire we had no problems. I am satisfied," said Versteijnen , who is also the number eight in the ranking, almost five minutes behind Martin Macik.
Tomorrow the caravan will head for the Red Sea. On the way from Bisha to Jeddah there is a liason of more than 500 kilometers. Halfway through, there is the  last special of this Dakar Rally.. Despite the fact that there is still a lot of sand waiting, the differences will not be very large.
Source  Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco 


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