Bernhard ten Brinke finishes Dakar 2022


Posted on: 14 Jan 2022


As a total surprise, due to Erik van Loon's positive Corona test, I got the chance to take over his car at the last minute. Leaving my family behind at a holiday destination and heading to Saudi Arabia to drive the toughest rally in the world without any preparation.


The first week Sébastien and I had to get to know each other in order to get through the stages at a good speed. Also, the new Toyota T1+ equipped with a V8 engine, which is a new car for me in terms of handling, came along. Fortunately, we started the prologue reasonably well with a 12th time.


The following days were unfortunate with a lot of lost time. The first really tough stage was immediately accompanied by an unclear situation in the electronic road book. As a result, we lost 2 hours of time on one day. The next day, unfortunately, we also had to contend with technical defects stemming from the newly developed car, which caused us to lose another 1.5 hours on the overall standings.


When we were able to put these days behind us, fortunately beautiful days with good rankings followed. We recorded a P12, P10, P7 and 2 times a P6 placement as our best classification on a stage.

The next stages we drove at an altitude of 900 to 1600 meters. Here, our V8 engine with restrictor (narrow air supply) had to give way to the factory Toyotas from Gazoo Racing and BRX with the turbo V6 engines that simply retain their power at altitude because they have no restrictor. The electric Audi's did not suffer from this at all and were able to run at 100% power under any conditions. This caused us to be behind the rest for several stages and we were no longer able to achieve a top 10 ranking. Our goal was therefore changed to finishing Dakar 2022!


Fortunately, we made it to the finish. We made up a lot of ground in the rankings, which brought us to a final 17th place! 🏁 A super achievement during my 9th Dakar.  


I would first like to thank Sébastien for his navigation and the good coaching. Also Eurol Lubricants for their unconditional support. I would also like to thank my mechanics, engineers and all other people within Overdrive Racing for making it possible to finish this monstrous rally!


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