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2018 Dakar rookie winner Hennie de Klerk to once again take part in next year's edition of the gruelling race

2018-08-17 08:55

Image: Supplied

Hennie de Klerk, South Africa’s Dakar 2018 Rookie Award champion, has confirmed that he will be competing in the gruelling Dakar 2019, taking place from 6 – 17 January 2019 in Peru.

"We didn’t think the Dakar sand bug would bite us again, but we are excited to announce that we have committed to enter Dakar 2019, and have started preparations in all earnest.

Toughest and most challenging

The Dakar 2019 will span over 5 000km and will consist of ten stages - seven which are sand and dunes.

READ: SA team wins Dakar Rally rookie race

As dunes are the toughest and most challenging part of the Dakar, it is also my favourite part, and we will be travelling to Namibia six times to practice in the sand as the Namibian desert offers very similar conditions.

During Dakar 2018 our strategy was to race at 80% of our capacity, as our goal was simply just to finish.

It was our dream to finish in the Top 30 and so we were absolutely ecstatic to end 28th overall. For Dakar 2019 we will aim first and foremost to complete the race, and then our objective is to improve on the 2018 results, and finish in the Top 20," De Klerk commented.

Key facts:

• Hennie is a motorsport fanatic and has 5 years experience off-road racing.

• Winner of Dakar 2018 Rookie Award (total of 32 Rookies entered).

• 2018 marks Hennie’s 1st participation in the Dakar as South Africa’s only privateer.

• Hennie is the first South African ever to win the Dakar Rookie Award.

• During Dakar 2018, Hennie started in position number 54 – a noticeable accomplishment considering it was his 1st Dakar and he therefore didn’t have an international seeding.

To follow Hennie's progress on Facebook, click here

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Read more on:    hennie de klerk  |  south africa  |  motorsport  |  dakar

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