WhatHennie de Klerk Update
WhenTuesday 14 September 2021

De Klerk tells us about his big plans for Dakar

TreasuryOne rally raid hero Hennie de Klerk has delayed his third Dakar assault to 2023 in order to best prepare for his attempt to finish in the top 20 cars this time around. De Klerk caused a stir when he survived to score a stunning Dakar rookie victory in 2018. He went back and finished again in 2020. But he’s not finished yet, although his experience at the Kalahari Rally last week has caused him to rethink his plans.

“We decided after the Kalahari Rally to postpone our Dakar plans until 2023,” Hennie confirmed. “I'm really dead set on getting that top 20 and maybe a top 15, and to achieve that, we need more man and machine preparation time. "We had planned to race this coming 2022 Dakar in our TreasuryOne Amarok and used our BMW X3 at the Kalahari Rally to be sure that we rested the Amarok.
“But the Kalahari actually exposed several weaknesses on the TreasuryOne BMW that we fear could raise their heads on the Amarok. “So we decided to rather take our time, consider a few more options and aim for Dakar 2023 instead."

Talking about the Kalahari Rally, Hennie was most impressed by the race. It is rapidly establishing itself as a go-to event for SA and international Cross-Country racers, especially those looking to race the Dakar. “I rate the Kalahari Rally very highly. “It's the best value for money and you will get exposed to all the elements of Dakar, from long days in the seat to little sleep to tough navigation and much more too.”

Hennie has raced the Dakar twice, every second year, the first time to win the Rookie award in the Amarok and then two years back in a Red-Lined Navara. "Those races were literally and metaphorically worlds apart,” Hennie reflected. "I suppose you can never relive a first Dakar, you just try to survive and finish each day and we got lucky by winning the Rookie award. “We started as one of 17 Rookie crews in South America and only 2 of us finished. "We managed to be one of the two!
"Saudi Arabia was a different world, no one knew what to really expect and we had a top 20 finish in our sights. “Sadly, car issues in the middle of the race meant that we only finished 34th. “So I want to go back and get that top 20 finish.” 

Hennie has been planning a Dakar return ever since he has re-imagined how he will go about it. He has now teamed up with Adriaan Roets in the hot seat. “Adriaan has a very good instinct for navigation and I trust him 100% on his calls. “My driving has also improved over the past few years. “In the beginning I was wild and all over the place, but I have learned to calm down, although I want to be as fast as ever.

“I have changed my philosophy to ride clean and precise and try not to get out of the car any time through the race day — to try to follow Mr Marsh's example! “I also spend a lot of time on physical training, try to be as fit as possible and also work hard on endurance training, long runs and long bike rides. "Adriaan and I are doing the Skyrun in November for some team and comrade building.

“We want a top twenty finish in our next Dakar — a top 15 would be excellent, but there is still much we need to do. “Watch this space - we will have some interesting news about our plans in due course!” 


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