Dakar

Gert Huzink to race as Jongbloed Dakar Team in 2024

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Credit: Joengbloed Dakar Team

Gert Huzink has long raced a white-and-green truck at the Dakar Rally as the CEO of Riwald Recycling. For 2024, however, his Renault C460 truck will undergo a palette swap for white and blue as tax law firm Jongbloed Fiscaal Juristen picks up title sponsorhip of his operation, branding them Joengbloed Dakar Team.

Rob Buursen and Martin Roesink will return as his co-driver and mechanic, respectively.

“With Jongbloed Fiscaal Juristen, we have a strong partner that supports and values our ambition,” said Huzink. “We want to race at the top and be at the forefront in green innovation. The fact that we have such an enthusiastic sponsor behind us in these times gives us a lot of confidence and extra motivation to fulfill that ambition.”

The team was long known as Riwald Dakar Team via Huzink’s scrap recycling company, which he founded in 1989 and ran until it was sold to ArcelorMittal in late 2022. He remained involved during the transition period and still ran the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship under the Riwald banner before announcing their exit on Friday.

Huzink retired from the 2023 Dakar Rally with an engine failure after six stages, ending an otherwise strong outing in which he claimed the third leg. He ran his final race with the Riwald name at the Rallye du Maroc, the last race of the W2RC and just the second for the T5 (now Truck) category, where he finished sixth in class and last among finishers but won the fifth stage.

His Renault C460 was the first hybrid truck to race at Dakar when it debuted in 2019, completing a development process led by ZF and MKR Technology. Following Morocco, it went through a full rebuild followed by testing in Poland. Huzink has raced at Dakar since 2012.

“We have known the team for years from a business relationship with Riwald Recycling,” commented Jongbloed partners Martijn te Riet and Roy Damhuis. “In addition to our affinity for racing and rally, we think it is important that we can support an innovative team from our Twente region.”

Pascal de Baar, who raced a second truck at the 2023 Dakar, will not return to the team as he moves to Team Boucou Assistance. He won a stage in his last start for Riwald but suffered a late mechanical failure that relegated him to sixteenth. Although the second truck remains available, Huzink has opted not to field it in 2024 to solely focus on his truck and ensure reliability.

The 2024 Dakar Rally begins on 5 January.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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