|Sealine Qatar Rally: FIA debut for Peter van Merksteijn Jun. with HRX Ford.|
A new challenge is beckoning for Peter van Merksteijn junior: cross-country rallies. The man from Twente in the eastern part of the Netherlands, will take part in the Qatar based "Sealine Cross Country Rally" from April 23 to 26. This will be his debut in the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.
His co-driver is Eddy Chevaillier. The Belgian has a lot of experience in this kind of rallying. Van Merksteijn will drive a HRX Ford of the Wevers Sport team.
Peter junior became enthusiastic by Peter van Merksteijn senior’s participation in the Dakar Rally and is now is rerouting his focus. In past seasons he was active in the World Rally Championship. And it is apparent from several top ten results just behind the factory teams that this was quite successful.
“It’s great to be able to compete on the highest level, but if you want to reach the ultimate top you need to dedicate full time to rallysport. I can’t afford that. Cross-country rallies are a marvellous challenge and a little less time consuming. Apart from that, the level of competition is very high. It’s not for nothing that many former WRC top drivers compete in cross country events” said Van Merksteijn.
The Dutchmen will start for the four days rally on Tuesday the 23th of April. “It’s a beautiful event to start my career in this type of motorsport. It’s got a clear format, every night you return tot the same bivouac. Still it’s a serious desert rally.” That can clearly be seen looking at the itinerary. The 1500 kilometer plus event runs straight through the Arabian Emirate’s desert over a route solely consisting of sand, dunes and rocks.
Before the Qatar event Van Merksteijn will take the opportunity to test the HRX Ford in Dubai for a few days. In this way he can familiarize himself with driving in desert conditions. If he comes to like the adventure on the Arabian peninsula Van Merksteijn junior wants to compete in more cross country events. “Our ultimate goal being the Dakar Rally. That would be nice: senior and junior at the start of the most challenging rally in the world!”
2013/03/13 | 21:23 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/VAN MERKSTEIJN