Van Loon hoped to be able to compete in this Dakar Rally at the front of the rankings, but things immediately went wrong on the first day. In the dust of a motorcyclist, the Brabander collided on top of a boulder, causing considerable damage to the Hilux and there was nothing to do but wait for assistance.
“This is very frustrating,” says Van Loon. “The Dakar lasts 12 days, we started well and did nothing crazy. The dust hit two stones and practically the entire right front side is broken. Fortunately, we manage to get the car moving again, with the help of the men in the assistance truck. Without Dave, Bob and Rob it would not have been possible, so thank you guys! Now it will be hard work in the bivouac to get everything right for tomorrow. “
Due to the crash, Van Loon and navigator Sebastien Delaunay are already well behind, but the Brabander does not let his head down: “The chance of a good classification is now far away, but if this is the first day then there is still a lot will happen. We will do our best to achieve good daily results. “
Van Loon will get the first chance at a good day classification on Monday. Then there is a special stage of 457 kilometers on the program, which will include the first dunes.