WhatMorocco Desert Challenge Day 5 Report
WhereZagora, Morocco
WhenWednesday 17 April 2019

Diff trouble stifles TreasuryOne charge

TreasuryOne Motorsport duo Hennie de Klerk and Johann Smalberger’s magnificent run up front in the Morocco Desert Challenge came to an end midway through the fifth day, when their Amarok bakkie broke a differential deep in the Sahara Desert dunes. That left Hennie and Johann fighting against the odds as they were being towed out of the desert in a sandstorm as night fell Wednesday evening…

“This is a real sport of ups and downs,” team manager Roy Obery reported. “On day three when Hennie had two punctures and an upset stomach, lost time and were seriously grumpy. “Then yesterday the car performed faultlessly, we changed our tyre choice and we had a seriously quick day, picking up time and places even amongst the dust of the leading group of trucks. 

“This morning they left and we were all cheerful and confident that we would be able to close the gap on the cars ahead as we entered the dune stages of the race. “However disaster struck early with what we think is a broken rear differential — the TreasuryOne Amarok was stranded in the stage waiting for a recovery vehicle...

“The support crew has been waiting patiently in the pits, enduring raging heat and the most severe dust and wind storm that we have encountered so far as we await further news on Hennie and Johann's progress of the car while — our last intelligence suggests that they had over 160km to go with time and daylight passing by at a rapid rate.

“Clearly the objective is to get the Amarok back to the bivouac here at Zagora, fix the bakkie and to get the lads out there and racing tomorrow — we are ready and waiting…” 

All things being equal, de Klerk will have a little point to prove should the TreasuryOne crew get the Amarok up and running for Thursday’s sixth stage, another desert classic with a bit of everything from sand plains, canyon, the dunes of Ouzina and the Erg Chebbi en route to the bivouac in the resort town of Merzouga.

01:00am Thursday 18 April - UPDATE: 
Hennie & Johann made it to the finish after midnight on Wednesday: “A carrier bearing in the differential collapsed,” Hennie confirmed. “That’s a most unusual problem and a bit unfortunate but the guys are replacing the diff and we will be racing today. 

“We have now lost over 20 hours, so we won’t have a result to talk about, but we start 21st today and we have nothing to lose, so let’s see what those last three stages bring!”


Issued on behalf of TreasuryOne Motorsport

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