Meet the competitors – Lars Jans / Hans Heerema / Bert Uyt Den Bogaard – Rallye Breslau Poland
Rallye Breslau 2021: Bigger than ever. Hashtag #megaedition
2021-06-01
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Meet the competitors – Lars Jans / Hans Heerema / Bert Uyt Den Bogaard

In a series of blog posts we will introduce competitors who shared their experience at Rallye Breslau or other event of RBI Sport in the interview.

1) Who are you? What is your occupation? 

We are the Hamer Rally team. Our team consists out of 16 people, two DAF rally-trucks and a Toyota Landcruiser. In the Breslau rally we will compete with a part of our team, consisting of one rally-truck, the Toyota and 9 team members.

Almost all of our team members are working at the company ”Hamer” that builds technical installations. We are all working at different divisions and have a wide range of technical knowledge, from specialized welders till technical designers, they all play an important rolе in our team. 

2) How did it start with your off-road passion? Since when are you rallying/driving off-road? What is your rally experience?

We started our off-road adventure as a service crew for other rally teams in the Dakar rally. We supported different teams with our service truck for many years and in 2014 we decided to start to compete ourself in the Dakar-rally. In total we have competed two times in the Dakar-rally, after that we decided to compete in the Morocco Desert Challenge. In 2018 we added a second rally-truck to our team and a Toyota Landcruiser. After years of driving in the Moroccan dunes we got the news that the 2020 edition was cancelled, so we looked for a good substitute and decided to compete in the Breslau rally. This was such a good experience for us that we decided to register for this edition also.

3) You already have taken part in Rallye Breslau. When was your first participation? Share with us the first experience.

Last year was the first time competing in the Breslau rally for us. We had no experience at all in any European rally, so we didn’t know what to expect. We adjusted our truck and car to the different conditions that you find in the forests of Poland. We received a lot of tips and tricks from  other competitors, which shows the great atmosphere and helpfulness in the Breslau rally.
The first two days we used to get comfortable in the new environment. After day two we were able to pick-up the pace and we were entering the front of the field. We ended up in between of the more experienced competitors and finished at an overall second place. All in all it was a really successful rally for us, but more important, we had a lot of fun doing it!

4) In which class are you competing in the Breslau? Did you drive in a different class or category or do you remain faithful to one specific class/category?

We are competing in the Truck Cross Country class for trucks above 7.5 tons and the open car category. This year we are competing in the same classes, because this suits our vehicles best. The Cross Country category is the perfect category for Dakar and MDC spec vehicles. With minimal adjustments you can directly compete in the Breslau rally.

5) Tell us more about your rally vehicle. 

This year we are competing with one DAF EVO2 rally-truck and a Toyota Landcruiser. Both vehicles are built for the desert and are customized for the Breslau-rally.
The DAF is originally build by Eimbert Timmermans (who is also competing this year) and further developed by our own team. The engine is a 13-liter MX engine with a power output of 800HP. The suspension is from Reiger and counts 8 shock absorbers in total!  This truck is especially strong in the faster stages at the Polygon. For the tighter forest trails we are a bit too big.
The Toyota is based on a standard chassis and is build up from the ground by our team. The full suspension is updated with Proflex shock absorbers and the engine is newly build and tuned by our own mechanics.
For the Breslau rally we have added a lot of protection to both vehicles. Especially in front of the windscreens we have added a lot of reinforcement against the tree-branches in the forests.

6) What is special about Rallye Breslau? What drives you to participate in this rally? What are in your point of view the main features of this event that makes it different to other rallies?

The Breslau rally distinguishes itself by the great atmosphere. We are all competing against each other, but when you have troubles on the track everybody is willing to help. Also in the bivouac there is a relaxed atmosphere, which gives us a real holiday feeling.

7) Share something from your rally vehicle preparation for Rallye Breslau, that can be useful to other competitors.

Last year we got the advice from other teams to add some more protection bars in front of our windshield. We decided to weld these on just before the first stage. We are really tankful for this advice, because we underestimated the amount of tree branches hitting the truck. It would have cost us a windshield for sure! 
This year a lot of new teams are competing in the Breslau-rally and when we talk to them we all give them the same advice, watch out for the tree branches!

8) Have you already taken part in other rally events of RBI Sport? Which ones.

Not yet, but we will definitely consider it!