“I have a good feeling about it”
Best of the rest behind an all-Kamaz top four last year means Janus Van Kasteren, Marcel Snijders and Darek Rodewald are among the firm truck favourites for 2023. But Van Kasteren is under no illusions, warning that despite the Kamaz absence plenty of fast competitors remain, not least his own De Rooy team-mates. Co-driver Snijders has the most Dakar experience of the trio, making his debut in the bike class back in 2005 - since then he has added entries in buggies, cars and trucks! Meanwhile, mechanic Rodewald has tasted the greatest success, being part of the winning De Rooy team in 2012 and 2016, plus our further podiums.
J.V.K.: “This will be my third year with De Rooy and I have a good feeling about it. Everyone thinks without Kamaz it should be easy to be on the podium, but there are other strong competitors - including my own team-mates of course.
“If you want to fight for a Dakar podium you need to take some risks. Every day you think about ‘that hole’ or ‘that jump’. It’s a crazy sport, but I love the adventure - and the speed. My father also drives in the Dakar, in a classic truck for De Rooy, so the rest of our family just accepts we are never going to be home in January!”
D.R.: “My first Dakar should have been 2008 with Jan De Rooy, but it was cancelled. I returned with his son Gerard and since then I’ve competed twelve times, winning twice and finishing on the podium several more times.
“The Dakar is a marathon; you don't have to win a day to win the rally. But it doesn’t forgive mistakes and only the well-prepared will finish. This is my third time working with Janus and every year he makes another step. We’ve been testing a lot to work through all the new updates and settings for the truck.
“Janus, Marcel and I make a strong team. As a mechanic there’s a lot of work late into the night, but no-one can do the Dakar on their own and you win or lose together. The Dakar combines everything, man and machine, which is what makes it such an incurable disease!”
M.S.: “I first got involved in the Dakar through a friend. We did it in 2005 on a bike, reached the finish and after that I was addicted! All in all I’ve done the Dakar twice in Africa, ten times in South America and this is going to be my fourth time in Saudi Arabia.
“2011 was my first time ‘sitting’, in a factory Mitsubishi car. Then my first truck. After that I was back on a bike, in a buggy, a truck again, bike again… I had such good luck on the bike, finishing all my Dakars. I really treasure that and so after 2019 I decided I wouldn’t do it again on a bike, especially now I’m 55!
“I didn't know Janus until four years ago when his navigator was injured and he needed a replacement. He’s a really nice guy. We also do a few other rallies together because it’s good for the navigator and driver to spend time together understanding how the other communicates. Now he knows what I mean, even when I'm silent!”
BOSS MACHINERY TEAM DE ROOY IVECO
BOSS MACHINERY TEAM DE ROOY IVECO
- Mark IVECO
- Model POWESTAR
- Performance tuner Iveco/Team De Rooy
- Assistance Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco
- Class T5.1: Prototype Cross-Country Trucks
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