Much has been said about Fabian Lurquin and the Overdrive team over the past two weeks. But the Belgian presence on the Dakar was much larger and our nationals all did well, some reaching the finish in good order.
The black-yellow-red favorite of this 2022 edition is undoubtedly the Jérôme Martiny. Coming from motocross and enduro, this 34-year-old firefighter, originally from Longchamps, competed in his very first Dakar on a private Husqvarna and reached the finish in a very good 31st overall position in the motorcycle category. Mikael Despontin, who is not a novice, finished 51st.
In cars, you have to go down to 33rd place to find a 100% Belgian and father-son team, moreover, with Erwin and Olivier Imschoot on MD Optimus buggy. 45th place for Alexandre Leroy (SRT).
As for the trucks, our best representative is close to the top 5. Co-driver of the Dutchman Martin Van den Brink on the Iveco of Team de Rooy, Peter Willemsen took 6th place overall. Supporting another Dutchman, Pascal De Baar, Jan Van der Vaet finished in 14th place.
An impressive Belgian contingent filled the Dakar Classic field reserved for vehicles of yesteryear. If Dirk Van Rompuy and Jean-Marie Lurquin, Fabian’s father, were forced to retire, Tom De Leeuw, Cédric Feryn and Bjorn Burgelman took 8th place in their Mercedes truck, four rungs ahead of Pascal Feryn’s Toyota LandCruiser and a certain Koen Wauters. 34th final place for the Claeys family (Toyota). Mention also for the Porsche 911 of the American-Belgian duo Lerner-Bossaert. If the two ladies played yo-yo in the classification to finally finish 37th, they had the knack of winning a stage at the wheel of their car prepared by the G Rally team of de Mévius.
Speaking of the de Mévius, if he did not reach the finish of his first Dakar, Guillaume was the only one to deprive Seth Quintero of a stage victory in prototypes.
Long live 2022!