|Baja Spain: All Dutch rebuilt Mitsubishi Racing Lancers finished in the Top 10.|
Erik van Loon and his codriver Harmen Scholtalbers from the Netherlands started their SA-Dakar 2012 preparation with a good result: With only 9:24 minutes behind the winner Filipe Campos (BMW) they reached the 3rd position with their rebuilt Mitsubishi Racing Lancer "made in Holland".
But not only this: The team started with four cars. Bernhard den Brinke and former Chicherit-codriver Matthieu Baumel finished 2nd overall (+2:24), Erik Wevers and his navigator Michiel Poel as fifth (+19:52) and Gert Huzink and Michel de Groot on ninth position (+43:57). So all four Mitsubishi Racing Lancer in the Top 10 - a great result for the sympathic team.
"We had peace and trust. It was flawless, but very hard. I don´t think it could be much harder without taking big risks, "said Erik van Loon. "We had many types of terrain to overcome: Clay course, but also rocks, fesh fesh, hills and winding passages. For a tough Baja like in Spain this is a really good result. We are very satisfied!"
The rally started not as perfect as expected. "We had a difficult start" Van Loon reported. "We had a slower participant in front of us and the man didn´t let us pass."
So on Saturday they started on 13th position and had to overtake a lot of participants in the Spanish dust. The result: A respectable 4th position. On Sunday the both Dutchmen started to attack - accompanied by the rising sun - and finished with a place on the podium.
The preparation for the SA-Dakar 2012 - the main goal of the Dutch team - will be continued on NPO´s "OiLibya Rally of Morocco" from 16 to 22 October 2011. For more informations about the team visit the official website at [ www.vanloondakar.nl ].
2011/07/25 | 04:02 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/VL