TreasuryOne Amarok ready for the Sahara
South Africa’s 2018 Dakar debut hero Hennie de Klerk has been quiet since powering his TreasuryOne WCT Engineering Amarok to win the best rookie award in Argentina early last year, but the Pretoria businessman and his intrepid team is packed and ready to head for the Western Sahara to race the Morocco Desert Challenge from 12 to 20 April.
De Klerk will have Johan Smalberger reading notes on his first international outing since his Dakar success on the spectacular 3 000km coast-to-coast Morocco Desert Challenge route across the West African country over eight days. Three of those days will see crews tackling Sharan desert dunes, with the remainder raced across technically challenging fast tracks, wide African plains and salt lakes that also make up several legendary Paris-to-Dakar-stages.
“The TreasuryOne Amarok is on its way to our next Cross Country Raid adventure,” Hennie confirmed. “It’s been well over a year since our dream Dakar debut and I cannot wait to get behind the wheel in anger again — we fly up to collect the TreasuryOne Amarok next week and then its eight days of racing over three-thousand kilometres of African plains and Sahara Desert dunes.
I will have the experienced Johan Smalberger riding shotgun this time — a strong navigator can make or break a good result or race finish in the desert. We have been back to Namibia to train in the sand and dunes and the crew under Roy Obery and Lionel Lewis have since been through the WCT Engineering-built TreasuryOne Amarok with a fine-toothed comb, so I’d say we are ready.”
We need to work with a road book for the Morocco Desert Challenge,” navigator Johan Smalberger added. “So marking and re-marking the road book is absolutely essential, especially in anticipation of the dunes, which Hennie will tackle fast and we need to be sure to get over all of them.”
The TreasuryOne Amarok races on Cooper STT Pro Tyres boasting three layers of metal in their sidewalls, ideal for sand and dune racing. These are the same tyres the team used on Dakar 2018, only losing two tyres en route to rookie victory over 10 000km. The TreasuryOne Amarok is oiled by specially formulated CIM Lubricants, ideal to guard its racing V8, gearbox and drivetrain to the rigours of 3 000km of Moroccan desert racing.
Hennie and the team will collect the TreasuryOne Amarok in Spain early in April, from where they head to Agadir in Morocco to prepare for scruitineering and the race, starting Friday 12 April. “This is our first Morocco Desert Challenge and from what we hear, it is quite similar to the Dakar,” Hennie concluded. “So we hope that the experience and knowledge we gained at the Dakar will help us in Morocco — we are super excited about the race and we hope to once again make our South African fans proud!”