BEN DE GROOT(nld) 1.97m / 110kg
my company: making the world healthier every day with fresh fruit and the Dakar rally
De Groot Fresh Group
“We’ll need to watch out for the dunes”
After mixing media car duties with rally raids for several years, Ben de Groot completed his first Dakar in 18th place in 2022. Preparations for this year’s event were then rocked by a health scare for brother William. The resulting reshuffle sees Ben take over William’s place in the driving seat of their new De Rooy-built Iveco truck, alongside navigator Tom Brekelmans, while his son in law Ad Hofmans steps in for the other entry. Ben’s day job is CEO of the family-owned de Groot fresh group, which William has also played a key role in.
B.d.G.: “I’ve always loved anything with an engine and was just happy to follow from the sidelines, with the media or doing some small rallies by myself in Morocco etc. But I did my first truck Dakar last year and for this year we decided to buy two trucks, for my brother and myself.
“Then my brother suffered a cardiac arrest. He is getting better and is really lucky to be alive, but it was really sad to see him sitting in the truck and knowing he can’t drive. He should be able to come out and support us in the second week.
“So now I'm driving the new Iveco truck, which we bought from De Rooy. It’s something special for me because when I was growing up I always watched the Dakar with Jan De Rooy, so to drive a Dakar in a De Rooy truck is a dream come true.
“Tom and Govert are both good guys, and much younger than me! They are well prepared but I’ve been flat out to get everything ready and have zero experience with this new truck. But as with any driver, once the helmet goes on you’re in race mode!
“Of course, I want to finish again, somewhere between 10th and 15th is my goal but the truck is capable of a top ten. But I think we’ll need to watch out for the dunes on the last four days, they look quite treacherous.”
DE GROOT SPORT
IVECO POWERSTAR (STRATOR - TORPEDO)
DE GROOT SPORT
- Mark IVECO
- Model POWERSTAR (STRATOR - TORPEDO)
- Performance tuner -
- Assistance -
- Class T5.1: Prototype Cross-Country Trucks
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