NICO ANTONIUS PETRUS STIJNEN(nld) 1.9m / 94kg
Trucks/Bikes and (oldtimer) racing Ducatis
CAB Trucks / Henko Workwear / Eurol
2015: Oilibya rally mechanic with Pascal de Baar, Mammoet team
“I want a good birthday present!”
After a decade involved as a sponsor and team member with Brink, Nico Stijnen was persuaded it’s now or never to drive in the Dakar. The Dutchman, who turns 58 on the final day of this year’s event, began his motorsport career racing Ducatis and has been driving trucks for 40 years, but knows the dunes will be a very new adventure. Stijnen will steer a proven truck from De Rooy, aided by co-driver Joel Ebbers, who already has five Dakars to his credit but can’t wait to return after missing out for the past two seasons. Like Stijnen, this will be mechanic Christiaan Van Der Haar’s first time in the thick of the Dakar action.
N.S.: “We bought the truck in June when father-and-son Brink said to me ‘In three years you are 60, you are always saying you want to drive, you must do it this year!’ My wife and daughter supported me and now I’m here. I’ve hired a personal trainer and have lost 10kg, I’m really going for it.
“I have a very good team behind me, Joel is the best navigator I could get and Christian is an excellent mechanic. I have some extra pressure to finish because 15 January is my birthday and I want a good present! We’re also number 528 and if you delete the 2, I’m going to be 58!”
J.E.: “From the moment I bought a car and drove my first desert rally with friends, I immediately caught the bug. I went again and again, but eventually got the feeling I was a better navigator than driver. So I began to specialise in navigation and, after two or three races, a Dakar team picked me up.
“I felt like a ‘fish in water’ and did five Dakar, then when Covid came I had two Januarys in front of the television. My whole year was terrible because it didn’t start with the Dakar! So I'm very happy to be back.
“The Dakar is the biggest struggle you can imagine. You have to overcome so many problems to reach the finish, doing things you would normally never do. Somehow in the Dakar it’s possible. It's really a magical thing.
“I'm the most experienced member of our team. Nico has never done the Dakar and our mechanic hasn’t done it in the truck, but they are both full of enthusiasm and well prepared.
“The Euro team bought our truck from De Rooy, where it’s successfully done many Dakars, and have completely rebuilt it. So we’re full of confidence in it.”
- Mark IVECO
- Model TRAKKER
- Performance tuner -
- Assistance -
- Class T5.1: Prototype Cross-Country Trucks
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