TreasuryONE Motorsport taking Dakar-style approach to SARRC, returning in 2026

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Credit: TreasuryONE Motorsport

After retiring from the Dakar Rally in January, Hennie de Klerk and his TreasuryONE Motorsport team will be approaching the upcoming South African Rally-Raid Championship like it is a leg on the former.

He and his co-driver Juan Möhr will have a full kit of spare parts and tools onboard their WCT Toyota Hilux, then perform repairs and changes themselves without the help of their team when they are at the service station. The team’s technician Tjaart van der Walt will be present to oversee the stops but not get involved. Under World Rally-Raid Championship rules, crews are not permitted to help their drivers if they are stuck in the Selective Section and face disqualification if it happens, and de Klerk and Möhr will treat the service areas as such.

“As we so painfully learned this year, there’s no tomorrow at the Dakar if you do not finish today,” said de Klerk. “To that end, we will use our local races to develop our strategy to best deal with our future Dakar challenges. That means concentrating on endurance and reliability, rather than just speed.”

2024 marked de Klerk’s third Dakar Rally after being the best-finishing rookie in the 2018 edition in twenty-eighth followed by a thirty-fourth in 2020. He returned to the race after four years in a new Toyota Hilux T1+ designed by WCT Engineering, which is mostly the same as its counterparts built by Toyota Gazoo Racing and Overdrive Racing but less complex so that privateers can afford it. Möhr joined the team after last racing the Dakar in 2016 with Mark Corbett.

The duo fell early due to a time penalty in the Prologue for a navigation error, then broke a prop shaft early in Stage #2 which forced them to complete the leg with rear drive only. They scored their best finish of thirty-first in the Ultimate class in Stage #4, but another driveshaft failure and rollover struck during the second half of the Chrono Stage and ended their race.

Three months later, they hope to apply the lessons learned from their experience to the SARRC and hone their skills before trying the Dakar again in 2026. De Klerk will also race the Morocco Desert Challenge in 2025.

“It’s a rather different approach to how we go racing in the South African Rally-Raid Championship this year, but we’re certainly looking forward to the challenge,” he continued. “It’s great to get back up and racing again after the downs of Saudi Arabia in January. It will be an interesting season for sure, but all for very good reason.”

The 2024 South African Rally-Raid Championship begins this weekend with the Nkomazi 400.

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