If you say ‘Dakar’ in combination with ‘trucks’, you automatically say ‘Team De Rooy’. Great was therefore the disappointment when main sponsor Petronas did not think it appropriate to participate in the world’s most famous desert rally in times of corona. This year, however, they are back with a very strong formation.
A total of four Ivecos will be installed. Three of these are managed by Janus van Kasteren Jr., Hans Stacey and Mitchel van den Brink. The fourth truck is for Martin van den Brink, who no longer competes for his own Mammoet Rallysport, but for Team De Rooy. This is how Mammoet Team De Rooy was born.
The fact that father Van den Brink (Martin is Mitchel’s father) comes out for De Rooy has a sad history. He takes over the cockpit from Ton van Genugten, who died in an industrial accident in August. When regular driver Federico Villagra also had to withdraw, team leader Gerard de Rooy approached Van den Brink.
KAMAZ the big top favorite
However famous the name De Rooy is in the Dakar Rally, the formation is not a favorite. That honor really belongs to the Russian Kamaz. The team will be playing with the well-known names: Dmitry Sotnikov, Anton Shibalov, Eduard Nikolaev and Andrei Karginov. The two former also became first and second in the general classification last year.
One important outsider and tastemaker is missing this year. The Belarusian MAZ has not been admitted to the Dakar Rally, which has to do with the political unrest in that country, which we now also know as Belarus. Other outsiders who are present are Martin Macik on behalf of Big Shock Racing, Ales Loprais on behalf of Instaforex Loprais and Ignacio Casale from Tatra.