Saturday, April 20, 2024

Hans Stacey eyeing Dakar return in 2025

After being one of the top Truck racers at the Dakar Rally during the 2000s and 2010s, Hans Stacey is interested in heading back in a car. The Dutchman spent Thursday in southern France, where he tested an Audi Quattro prepared by Audi Sport Veghel to hopefully compete in the 2025 Dakar Classic.

“The first shakedown of my Dakar Audi Quattro in South France for Dakar 2025 went well,” wrote Stacey. “Of course, we still have some things to adjust and improve.”

In 2007, Stacey won the final Dakar Rally to run along the original Europe to Senegal route in the Truck category, scoring five stage wins in a TGA 18.531BB. He made his début in a DAF in 2004 before switching to MAN the following year, and finished second in the 2006 edition. Stacey remains the latest Dakar Truck champion who did not race for KAMAZ or IVECO as of 2024.

The 2008 Dakar was cancelled and a replacement event dubbed the Central Europe Rally took its place for that year, where he won six stages en route to another Truck overall victory. After taking two years off, he returned to the race in an IVECO in 2012 and finished second. His most recent Dakar was a ninth-place effort in 2017.

Stacey hoped to race in 2022 with Team de Rooy, but was replaced by Victor Versteijnen for medical reasons.

Audi Sport Veghel is a Dutch company that builds Group B-style Audi Quattros. Although mainly associated with rallying and hillclimbing, it is eligible to compete in the Dakar Classic, a navigation-based companion event to the Dakar Rally for vehicles built before 1999. One of the most famous examples of a Quattro rally raider came in 1986 when Franco de Paoli raced the 1986 Paris–Dakar Rally in one that used the chassis and engine of a Range Rover. While it did not finish and never raced at Dakar again, Franco later produced similar models for customers.

No Audis raced the 2024 Dakar Classic in January.