The PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO set off yesterday from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the prologue of the 2022 edition of the world’s most extreme rally race, the Dakar, which returns to Saudi Arabia with a new route. This first day took the participants to Hail, covering a total distance of 834 km with a 19-km mini-special that gave them a taste of what is to come. The route will cover a total of more than 8,000 km, of which 4,300 km of Special Stages, taking drivers into new landscapes and across vast expanses of sand, where they will tackle all sorts of sandy terrain, on tracks and chains of dunes and canyons. It will challenge them with a jumble of tracks that will require their best navigation skills to avoid losing their bearings.
The Team is taking on the extreme terrains of the race on board two IVECO Powerstar and a Trakker. For the tenth year, IVECO is the official supplier of the team, providing vehicles, engines and spare parts. All the IVECO trucks feature IVECO Cursor 13 engines with up to 1000 hp of power specially engineered by FPT Industrial.
IVECO’s history with the Dakar Rally race dates back to the very first edition, in 1979, when it started providing support trucks, and continued through the 80s with the PAC 260 and 190 models.
The cooperation between IVECO, Petronas and De Rooy Team began at the Morocco Rally 2011, when IVECO won with a Trakker, kicking off an exciting journey that has led to two victories in 2012 and 2016 in the Dakar Rally.
EXPERIENCE AND YOUNG TALENT COME TOGETHER IN A TEAM FULL OF PROMISE
Janus van Kasteren jr is a rally driver, and is competing in the Dakar rally for the third time behind the wheel of an IVECO Powerstar Evo (vehicle #504) with navigator Marcel Snijders and mechanic Darek Rodewald. He will aim to capitalise on the experience he gained in the previous editions, when he achieved several finishes in the top 10.
Hans Stacey has been replaced at the last minute for health and safety reasons by Vick Versteijnen, a young and talented driver who has gained experience driving trucks in three editions of the Dakar rally – the latest in 2020 with PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO. He is competing on an IVECO Powerstar (#515) with his navigator Teun van Dal, who replaces Anton van Limpt, and mechanic Randy Smits.
Mitchel van den Brink made his racing debut at just 16 years old, when he joined his father Martin as a mechanic/navigator in Dakar 2019, when he was the youngest ever participant in the rally race. He returned to the Dakar rally as a driver in the 2021 edition. This year for the first time he is competing on an IVECO Trakker (#524) with navigator Rijk Mouw and mechanic Bert Donkelaar.