“Very optimistic for Top 10!”
Passion was Erik Van Loon's main reason for competing on the Dakar in 2009 as well as taking a break from the daily stress as an owner of a meat factory. Since then that passion has grown and the Dutchman hasn't stopped raising his game. After finishing just outside the top ten in 2011, he took his Mitsubishi Racing Lancer to 16th spot in 2013. His impressive series sadly came to a halt last year when this former Dutch rally champion crashed out on day 5. Being the steering wheel of his improved HRX Ford and with a new co-driver, Wouter Rosegaar, Erik Van Loon who won the pre-prologue in Eindhoven against his compatriots, has the same ambition for his 6th Dakar: enter the Top 10.
E. V. L.: “The 2013 Dakar was full of problems for us. We had navigational issues, my co-driver hurt his back, we bent our hydraulic jack. On day 5, we were doing rather well. We were close to the Top 10. And then the following day we started in a good position but got lost and then had a puncture. In the dunes, I lost the throttle and we jumped over one of them, went air born and landed the car on its nose. The car rolled three times and was completely destroyed. I can't really blame myself. Hans Stacey crashed over the same dune. It's a bad memory but it's racing and I needed to push. Our goal this time remains the same: Top 10. I'm very optimistic. We'll be in the same car but with a power box for engine management and new suspensions. I'll be with Wouter (Rosegaard) as my co-driver. He used to be with Van Deijne and then went to the truck race but he wanted to come back to the cars. He's young but really experienced.”