|Dakar Pre-Proloog: Over 27,000 spectators last weekend in Valkenswaard/NL.|
The "Dakar Pre-Proloog", a traditional "Mini-championship" for Dutch Dakar pilots, drew over 27,000 people as the third most numerous contingent in the Dakar flexed its muscles ahead of the South American challenge. Dutch Dakar pilots meet every year to show off their vehicles fresh out of the workshops and let their driving skills do the talking.
Last Sunday, a ground course laid out at the "Eurocircuit Valkenswaard" near Eindhoven gave spectators a sneak peek of the 2013 Dakar in its windmill-and-tulips version.
As the Oranjes get ready to go to Lima in early January, their leader Gerard de Rooy showed just why he is the Dakar champion on the 2.5 kilometers Eurocircuit, where he once again revelled in the cheers of the masses: "Driving among these crowds is terrific. The truck's ready for the rally", he chirped after posting the best time ahead of Peter Versluis.
On two wheels, Frans Verhoeven and his Yamaha continued their preparation for his first Dakar with another success, beating such riders as Henk Nuiman and 19-year-old Robert van Pelt, the youngest rider in this year's Dakar.
In the car category, former motorcycle rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh and his single-seat buggy prevailed over Erik van Loon and his Mitsubishi Lancer.
Nevertheless, the former Moto GP rider expects the tables to be turned on him in South America: "This course was tailored to my buggy. I seized my chance in Valkenswaard, but Erik will be faster in the rally."
2012/11/12 | 15:25 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO