The seventh stage of the Dakar Rally between Calama and Salta was run on high altitude. Above 3400 metres Erik Wevers and his Belgian navigator Fabian Lurquin fought a fierce battle with the factory teams in their HRX Ford. The crew of the Dutch Riwald Dakar Team finished in a fantastic seventh place after 218 km.
The rally trial suited multiple Dutch rally champion Erik Wevers. Immediately after the start the Dutchman was present in the top 10, ultimately finishing seventh with the HRX Ford. A special moment for the man behind the wheel, because Erik Wevers and his company Wevers Sport Offroad led the complex conversion of the rally car after the Dakar Rally 2012.
The conversion of the ex-factory Mitsubishi rally car to HRX Ford included the installation of a new engine (Ford V8), gearbox, tank and moving the spare wheels. After the test car burnt down in the Silk Way Rally the process was thrown back in time three months. This setback caused an enormous deadline pressure on the project. Only by working day and night they managed to set the car ready for the Dakar 2013. Two of the three HRX Fords were transported by plane to be in Lima on time.
The seventh place in the seventh special is therefore more than a great sporting achievement for Erik Wevers. It is also the (provisional) crowning glory for Erik and the other founders of the Riwald Dakar Team: Gert Huzink and Bernhard Ten Brinke. The three car enthusiasts found each other in a shared Dakar dream: competing against the factory teams with their own private squad.
Erik Wevers is (with Fabian Lurquin) twelfth in the overall standings being the best Dutch car driver. The stage victory went to race leader Stephane Peterhansel. The other HRX Ford of Riwald Dakar Team Gert Huzink and Eugenie Decré finished 51th overall. The Dutch/French pair recovered well from the difficult sixth stage.
Erik Wevers/Fabian Lurquin (car number 325) "This is a really good result. I hope we can continue this kind of performances. The beginning of the special was like a rally stage in Holland, afterwards it became rather technical by crossing riverbeds. Really enjoyable. "
Riwald Dakar Team