January 9, 2023

TOYOTA Gazoo Dakar rally helicopter

First week of Dakar 2023: Eurol teams on a win

The 2023 Dakar Rally is halfway. It’s been a tough first week of the race for everybody involved, but the teams with involvement of Eurol have shined during the eight stages so far. Time for a recap of the first week.


Nasser Al-Attiyah fulfilled his promise during the first stages of the Dakar Rally. After a solid prologue and a reasonable first stage, the Qatari shifted to a higher gear from the second stage. Al-Attiyah took the lead with a commanding win and managed to win three stages in the first week. After this strong performance, Al-Attiyah leads the car race with margin of over one hour. On stage 8 the Toyota Gazoo Racing ace finished in second place and was satisfied with the work done over the first half: “All our hard work at the beginning of the race is paying off. Next week I'll be home on the dunes. There'll be plenty of dunes, but you have to be careful and take it one day at a time."

Henk Lategan faced adversity in the first days of the rally but managed to regain composure over the next days. He finished on the podium in the second stage and built the rhythm from that moment onwards. So it happens the South African driver is runner-up in the general standings as the start of the tough second week nears.

Giniel de Villiers also chases the podium in his 20th consecutive participation of the Dakar Rally. De Villiers lost some time during the first stage, but climbed all the way up to 5th on the rest day. The best is yet to come for the South African as the Saudi dunes lie ahead in the next six stages of the 2023 Dakar Rally.

Highlights Dakar


Eurol Rallysport / Eurol Team De Rooy

The switch to Iveco built by Team De Rooy has gone well for Martin van den Brink. He’s the runner-up in the truck category after the first 8 stages. After a steady start Van den Brink finished in the top-5 every day since. He sits in second place overall and has every chance to chase his dream and win the Dakar Rally in the next week.

His son Mitchel van den Brink already fulfilled a dream by winning a stage. He defeated teammate Janus van Kasteren on stage 5 and made his dad, his family and his team proud. “I’m so happy with this result”, Van den Brink junior said. In the following days he continued his chase for glory with three runner-up places in the special stages so far. In the general standings, young Van den Brink is currently sixth.

Nico Stijnen debuted in the Dakar Rally as fast assistance for both Van den Brinks. The driver from Maaseik has done well, although he didn’t need to assist his fast teammates. As long as that’s the case, Stijnen and his crew can continue to gather experience in the race.

Riwald Dakar Team

The first week of the Dakar Rally was one with changing fortunes for Riwald Dakar. Teamleader Gert Huzink was eliminated early for a shot at the win, but he took a win in stage 3 and showed some promising pace. Unfortunately, Huzink had to leave the race early due to mechanical problems with his Renault truck.

Pascal de Baar also faced problems early on in the race, but the experienced Dakar driver managed to turn the tide and fights for high places in the stages. In stage 8 De Baar managed a best result so far with fourth place.

Adwin Hoondert made his comeback in the Dakar Rally aboard the fast assistance truck of Riwald. Hoondert needed some time to get to grips with the truck and the dunes in the first days, but he’s been important for some competitors during the race so far.