(nld) Born on 23/01/1949 at Arnhem 1.75m / 70kg


Bastion Hotels, Sligro, Farm Frites, Friesland Campina, Van Drunen, Itesso, Makro, Vrumona, Kaptein, Rational, Centercon


2018: 24th
2017: 26th
2016: 50th
2015: 43rd
2014: Ab. Stage 6

2018: Morocco Desert Challenge (3rd), Kalahari Botswana Toyota 1000 Desert Race (16th), Rally du Maroc (13th)
2017: Morocco Desert Challenge (2nd), OiLibya Rally du Maroc
2016: Silk Way Rally, OiLibya Rally du Maroc
2015: OiLibya Rally du Maroc, Libya Rally
2014: Morocco Rally, Baja races
2013: Silk Way Rally (22nd)


“I’m enjoying every minute”

In daily life Maik Willems is the owner of a hotel chain with 34 hotels and a total of over 3000 rooms in the Netherlands and Germany. Offering comfort and hospitality is his usual priority, but in the Dakar Maik Willems wouldn’t even think of changing his tent in the bivouac for a hotel room. In his business the Dutchman has set his sight on the long term, but in the Dakar he sticks to a day-by-day strategy. Willems will again be with co-driver Rob van Pelt -‘the man with the golden hands’ according to Willems- who is entering the Dakar for the 17th time and has managed to finish the Dakar on a bike, as a truck driver and as a navigator in a truck and a car.

M.W.: “The Bastion Hotels chain is expanding rapidly and we are building some new hotels. Those long term projects are my main responsibility at the moment and I decided to step away from the daily management. My family had hoped I would have more time and be at home more often, but I didn’t manage to do so yet. That doesn’t mean I spend all of my time at work. I go out sailing on my own as often as I can and I like to do some rally raids now and then. The Botswana Race we did in June was a new adventure and I enjoyed very much. I need to do such things to keep my mind clear and stay focussed. The Dakar is like a holiday to me, as we get to cross the most beautiful landscapes one could ever imagine. I’m enjoying every minute. Not just the landscape, also the way of life. The result is of no meaning to me, only regarding the starting position in the next stage. Peru wasn’t too kind for us in 2018 as we crashed on the second day already but managed to continue, with some bodywork of the car missing. It proofs how safe the cars are nowadays.”



  • Mark : TOYOTA
  • Model : OVERDRIVE
  • Performance tuner : Overdrive
  • Assistance : Bastion Hotels Dakar team
  • Class : A_T1.1 : T1.1 - Véhicules 4x4 tout-terrain modifiés essence

Ranking 2019

Scratch Stage General
1 52 52 52
2 49 49 47
3 42 42 41
4 53 53 43
5 66 66 63
6 44 44 58
7 36 36 58
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -

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