“The team is the most important”
Seven years after his triumph on the Dakar (the last in Africa), Hans Stacey is yet again one of the favorites for the win. Well-known for his race craft and MAN truck, he changed teams two years ago, accepting the challenge from his uncle Jan De Rooy: bring his experience and drive an Iveco all the way to the podium in Lima. It was mission accomplished in 2012 when he finished runner-up to cousin Gerard De Rooy. Last year his rally came to a premature end when he damaged his truck on a dune. Stacey, now a pillar in the De Rooy squad, will team with long-time mechanic Bernard Der Kinderen and German navigator Detflef Ruf as he sets off on his eighth Dakar after not competing at all this season, preferring to concentrate on fine-tuning the trucks. Very much a team player, Stacey is aiming for the podium and especially the victory for one of the De Rooy entries. Just one minor drawback: a broken finger suffered during the pre-prologue for the Dutch competitors in Eindhoven, but that is not enough to bother the solid Dutchman.
H. S.: “After my first experience in South America that didn't go very well, I was excited to be competitive once again in 2012. Jan (De Rooy) asked me to help improve the team. He absolutely wanted to see his trucks on the podium. Unfortunately my 2013 Dakar was over after just seven stages. First we got lost, then we had a puncture and it all ended when we got caught out on a dune. But now we have to forget about 2013. We didn't do any races this year, just tests. We focused on the preparation for the Dakar. To be competitive, we have to absolutely avoid bad luck. We have a new engine and we have also improved quite a few things. Our truck will have more torque, which is important in the dunes and we are expecting to see a lot of them. Our aim is to do our best for the team. The most important thing is to work as a team and to enjoy myself. It is going to be a fierce battle. There are between 10 and 15 trucks capable of winning. I know that the MANs will be very competitive. After all I was the guy behind their construction!”