WhatMorocco Desert Challenge Day 7 Report
WhereBouarfa, Morocco
WhenFriday 19 April 2019

Between Hennie and the finish in Morocco

Hennie de Klerk and Johann Smalberger enjoyed a positive penultimate stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge through the deep Sahara Desert aboard their TreasuryOne Amarok on Friday to end up eighth on the day ahead of Saturday’s final run to the finish.   

“We came in eighth today to move back into the top 25 overall, not if that really matters!” Hennie admitted. “We nursed our broken shock absorber and enjoyed a fairly decent run and now we look forward to getting to the finish at Oujda-Saïdia tomorrow. “Most importantly we showed better pace than expected right through the week and were well inside the top five or ten on most days. “It's just a pity about Wednesday.”

De Klerk and Smalberger had enjoyed a great run inside the overall car top ten until the Amarok suffered a differential failure Wednesday and the crew lost over 20 hours struggling home and time penalties incurred for being late and they have also enjoyed a strong run since all that drama. 

“Yes, we were out of luck on Wednesday, but then we are certainly not alone,” navigator Johann Smalberger explained. “We now lie 24th provisionally, one place behind Thomas Bell’s Nissan and two places ahead of Tomas Ourednicek in a Ford and all three of us were well within the top five along the way and we all had our own problems. 

“The trick in the desert is not to make any mistakes and to also be empathetic towards the car and have a car that does not give trouble through eight days over 3 000km and that is what we need to take home and ponder.

“For the rest, it has been a brilliant week — our performance far outstripped our expectations and while we ultimately lost 20 hours due to a R200 bearing, we have shown our potential and to stand on the finisher’s podium tomorrow will be just reward for every single member of our brilliant TreasuryOne team. “Well done to one and all — roll on Oujda-Saïdia!” 

The relatively short final stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge may well be a bit shorter, but it has also often proven to be a significant sting in the tail in the past. A navigational challenge with hard to find tracks through fields and pampas, it demands supreme concentration and pin-point navigation — how will it treat Hennie and Johann Tomorrow?


Issued on behalf of TreasuryOne Motorsport

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