WhatTreasuryOne Dakar 2020 Day 9 Report
WhereHaradh, Saudi Arabia
WhenWednesday 14 January 2020

But bush repairs can’t stop de Klerk progress

South African TreasuryOne Dakar crew Hennie de Klerk and Johann Smalberger moved up another couple positions as Dakar 2020 Saudi Arabia’s ninth day came to a close in Hradah in spite of the team working through Monday night to stay in the race and then struggling through Tuesday’s ultra fast opening sectors with their Red-Lined Nissan Navara deprived of their regular top speed

“It was a day of consolidation for us,” de Klerk reported. “We came back to the bivouac last night and discovered we had a problem with the car's transfer case, so had had to change the gearbox,” Hennie explained. “We never had a spare, so we had to scrounge a similar transmission out of another car that had retired in order for us to stay in the race today, but the replacement ‘box had incorrect gear ratios, so we lost 30km/h top speed and were very slow on today’s flat out early sections — we were passed by several rivals and ended up in their dust to make it even tougher.

“So we have made a call to stop chasing and we are now concentrating on getting through tomorrow’s marathon stage with no service support in Shubaytah and then the focus is very much to get to the finish on Friday. “Despite being on the back foot throughout, we still moved up two more places overall to 29th — some of the guys had worse days than us, others crashed out, so we will keep on trucking and see where we end up — this is Dakar — anything can happen — let's see what these last three days bring..."


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