With little over 50 days left until the Morocco Desert Challenge, South Africa’s DAKAR 2018 Rookie Award champion Hennie de Klerk is in the final stages of preparing for this gruelling desert race, taking place from 13 – 20 April 2019.
This year, the Morocco Desert Challenge span 8 days and cover just over 3,000 kilometres. It will cover a spectacular coast-to-coast route in which magnificent parts of the notorious desert will be represented. The 2019 route will have two and a half stages in Western Sahara (now Moroccan Sahara), and will offer fast tracks, technical parts, wide African plains, many dunes, salt lakes as well as legendary Paris-to-Dakar-stages.
Hennie’s MDC rally car, his well-known Amarok, will undergo its last testing on Thursday 21 February. After that, the car, along with all its accessories and spare parts, will be shipped in a container to Spain, where Hennie and his team will collect it early April. From there, they will depart to Agadir in Morocco, approximately 1,200 kilometres from the port, where the official MDC scrutineering will take place to ensure that all vehicles meet the technical regulations.
Hennie is mainly sponsored by TreasuryONE, a treasury company in Pretoria, while the tyres are sponsored by Cooper Tyres South Africa. Hennie commented, “We use the Cooper STT Pro tyres – the same tyres we used in the DAKAR. In 10,000 km we covered in DAKAR, of which 5,000 was dunes and dirt roads, we only lost 2 tyres. The STT Pro’s has 3 layers of metal in the sides, which makes it ideal for sand and dunes.”
CIM Lubricants is the official oil sponsor, and Hennie explains, “In a 3,000 km race over very hot and tough terrain, engine and gearbox oils plays a crucial part in the performance of the car. CIM Lubricants provides us with specially formulated oils that we use in these races.”
Roy Obery from Haval Edenvale and Lionel Lewis from LAS Sport, good friends of Hennie that also supported him at the Dakar, will be going for technical support at the race.
Hennie concludes, “This will be our first Morocco Desert Challenge, and from what we have heard it is very similar to the DAKAR. We think that the experience and knowledge we have gained during DAKAR 2018 will help us in MDC as we are very excited about the race. We hope to make South African spectators and followers proud.”
Follow Hennie’s progress here: Facebook
The route can be viewed here: https://www.moroccodesertchallenge.com/en/the-rally/8-stages-of-mdc-2019
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