“The devil is the most competitive rival!”
Ironically, it was on the third step of the 2010 podium that Marcel Van Vliet thought about ending his career. A call from the Veka team finally convinced Van Vliet to return, behind the steering wheel of a MAN. And a successful edition it was for the Dutchman who eventually finished 7th, in 2011. On his third Dakar in the Veka MAN team, he captured his first ever stage win. Eleven years after his first appearance, in a car, Van Vliet will be back, alongside German mechanic Artur Klein in the MAN truck, and former Dakar biker Marcel Pronk who lives in Dubai, like his driver. The goal will be to do at least as well as in 2010.
M.V.V.: “I wasn't completely satisfied with my 8th spot last year. I was hoping to finish in the Top 5 but we suffered small technical issues and some bad luck. It was already a very competitive race and it'll be even more the case this year. Fifteen to twenty can fight for the podium. We didn't have the opportunity to race this year but trained and tested the truck a lot. It's a completely new vehicle. Our goal will be a place on the podium. My third place of 2010 was too long ago now. Last year three of the drivers of the Veka-MAN team for this Dakar were in the top 10 (Versluis, Van Vliet and new recruit Kuipers). There's a great spirit in the squad. We'll have no team orders but you can't compete for a podium spot alone on a Dakar. You need the help of team mates. We have a competitive truck and our goal is to avoid bad luck. The devil is the most competitive rival”.