Saturday, March 2, 2024

Dakarspeed pushes Dakar Rally return to 2025

As much as Maurik van den Heuvel enjoys competing in rally raids, his day job understandably takes priority. Consequently, due to ongoing business obligations, he will have to push back his Dakar Rally return to 2025.

Van den Heuvel’s Dakarspeed team last appeared at Dakar in 2022, where he completed seven stages before being forced to retire when he hit a patch of camel grass and rolled his Scania truck. Although the team tried to repair the vehicle, they were not allowed to continue due to substantial roll cage damage.

The team initially planned to return in 2023 but delayed it by a year as their owner had to focus on his company Van Den Heuvel Logistiek, a logistics firm that specialises in moving bulk warehouse items for corporations. The postponement to 2025 also buys the team more time to continue work on their truck.

“Unfortunately, Team DAKARSPEED will NOT participate in the Dakar Rally 2024 due to a busy agenda in our business lives,” reads a team statement. “We want to focus on preparing a new Rally truck in perfect race condition, and for this we need more time to develop and prepare it.

“Our new target is the 2025 Dakar, where we hope to shine with a new, competitive truck. We appreciate the unconditional support and patience of our sponsors and team members during this time.”

Van Den Heuvel first raced at the Dakar Rally in 2014 and finished as high as ninth in the truck category in 2018. He ran the 2019 race with Team de Rooy.