Magdalena Beach, Lima, Peru was the site of an enthusiastic send-off for the 41st Dakar Rally. Over 100,000 supporters gathered to watch the commencement ceremony for this grueling rally over 5000 kilometers (3000 km of which are races) through Peru from Lima down to Tacna and back to Pisco.

Wouter de Graaff, Mitchel van den Brink, Martin van den Brink Janus van Kasteren, Erwin van den Bosch en Frank van Hoof
Wouter de Graaff, Mitchel van den Brink, Martin van den Brink Janus van Kasteren, Erwin van den Bosch en Frank van Hoof

This years’ Mammoet Rallysport entry consists of two Renault trucks with Martin van den Brink, navigator Wouter de Graaff and mechanic Mitchel van den Brink in the first and driver Janus van Kasteren, accompanied by navigator Erwin van den Bosch and mechanic Frank van Hoof in the second. The teams are looking forward to 11 days of endurance racing, beginning with the ‘Sandbox of Peru.” The first stage will bring the rally drivers from Lima to Pisco through 84 km of dunes and difficult terrain.

This is Martin van den Brink‘s 11th rally with Mammoet Rallysport, and the first accompanied by his son, Mitchel. “The feeling is good,” Martin states. “However, you also have to be lucky, and above all, stay out of trouble. Our tactics will not differ from other years. We have solid speed and reliability. However, the competition have not stood still. The field of participants is very competitive. There are at least 15 riders who want to finish on the podium.’’

Janus van Kasteren, second team driver, adds “We are aiming for a good result, but of course we will also help Martin if necessary. We want to perform, but first and foremost we are a team. I have a lot of confidence in the strength of our team and look forward to the race. We can hardly wait.’’

Martin van den Brink and team are racing in truck number 506 and Janus van Kasteren in number 531. A total of 41 trucks are due to begin the first section of the race on 7 January. The rally drivers will drive ten stages in various locations around Peru, ending in Pisco on 17 January.