What TreasuryOne Dakar ’24 Day 3 Report
Where Al Salamiya, Saudi Arabia
When Monday 8 January 2024
Hennie, Juan make up 90 places on Monday!
TreasuryONE Motorsport’s Hennie de Klerk and Juan Möhr’s tough Dakar 2024 continued on Monday’s, but the Pretoria Toyota Hilux T1+ duo had a far better day in the office, making up no less than 90 places on the dusty 438 km third day to Al Salamiya.
The team started the day well at the back behind many slower cars and trucks and fought back through the toughest conditions on Saturday after incurring a navigation penalty on Friday’s Prologue. Sunday brought no relief, when the Hilux broke a front prop shaft early on, causing Hennie and Juan to stop in the desert, disconnect front drive, and continue out of the dunes with rear drive only. So Monday proved another fight back in the dust.
The lads however made the best of the Monday dust. “We started second or third last after our miraculous finish on Sunday, so we once again had to pass so many cars, trucks, and side-by-sides,” Hennie de Klerk explained. “Which meant it was dust-dust-dust, pass a truck, more dust-dust-dust, pass a car or, and so on!
“The trucks in particular are so difficult to pass, they generate so much dust. But every vehicle we pass means we must go off the track and there is always the risk of hitting something out there. We were lucky to get away with one big bump. Fortunately there were two 20 minute decontrol areas where the buggies and trucks refuelled and we only needed to stop for three minutes, so we were able to leapfrog a lot of them there.
“After that, we could push a little at last and came out 67th after starting 157th. Which meant we made 90 overtakes on the day! That also means that we have a far better starting position for once and we set off 70th among far quicker cars on Tuesday.
“We were also lucky to escape any punctures on a day when so many crews had flat wheels and even pulled wheels right off their cars. But these BF Goodrich tyres are so good and we also work very hard to be sure to brake before the corners on rocky roads. That way we do not drift through the corners, and that makes a huge difference in tyre preservation.
“Tomorrow is a short stage from a far better start position with normal service afterwards. So we can now take it a little easier and work on making up more places as we go. Then it’s the 48-hour chrono stage with lots of dunes over the next two days to the rest day. We simply cannot wait for that, and to get out there and just race on Tuesday after three really difficult days of Dakar 2024.
“Special thanks to our incredible TreasuryONE team for all the effort. That really makes all the difference, but by hook or by crook, we are still here after four horrible days of Dakar 2024, so here’s to our race going from strength to strength!” Tuesday’s fourth Dakar stage sees crews racing the 299 km balance of the Marathon Stage to Al Hofuf.
Issued on behalf of TreasuryONE Motorsport
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