“It’s ironic that at fifty I’m a rookie”
He grew up in the back seat of his father’s rally car. Raised in a motorsports family, it was only normal to see Schalk Buger on the start line of the Dakar. After years competing in the South-African rally championship he switched to off-road races. A crash during the Botswana 1000 could have cost him dearly. An injury to his hand forced him to take a one year break enabling him to come and visit the Dakar in Peru back in 2017. That’s when he saw the size of the event and realized he wasn’t quite ready for it. The initial goal was to take part in 2020 but an accident pushed back that objective. For his first Dakar, the South-African businessman will have his usual co-driver Henk Janse Van Vuuren at his side.
S.B.: “My whole life has been linked to motorsports. My father was a Springbok rally driver and I remember growing up in the back seat of his rally car. The Dakar was an adventure I’d always wanted to do. I unfortunately suffered a bad crash in Botswana that kept me away from racing. I took that opportunity to go and see the Dakar in Peru back in 2017. What I saw was much bigger than I expected. It’ll be a first for everybody. I’m used to high speeds so that’s the least of my concerns but I do worry about the dunes. I didn’t grow up in them. The objective? The obvious answer is finishing but I’d also like to be the best rookie. I’m actually being mentored by Hennie De Klerk who was the best newcomer back in 2018.
It’s ironic that at fifty I’m a rookie. But I’ve got enough experience. The Dakar is an endurance race and it’s more mental than physical. I was privileged to make the cut for one of the ten Century cars. Henk (Janse Van Vuuren) is an experienced navigator and I couldn’t have chosen a better partner.”
- Mark : CENTURY
- Model : CR6
- Performance tuner : Custom built, Century Racing
- Assistance : Century Racing
- Class : 4×2 Petrol and Diesel
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