Team Oryx Rallysport is no stranger to the MDC. Henri van Steenbergen's team has been competing for several years. In the past, we saw them in the car category with their Desert Warrior from Rally-Raid UK. In the past edition of the MDC, they made the switch to SSVs and next April they will bring a few more! The team has entered no less than 4 SSVs, and there is a chance that a 5th could be added.
Team Oryx will come to the start with not-so-common SSVs: 2 of the 4 vehicles entered are GPR22s, an FIA T3 prototype built in Spain with a Ford ecoboost 1.0 engine block. "These SSVs don't have a belt like the Can-Am ones, so you do have to manually change gears," Henri explains. "This puts you more in the race, the feeling is much more dynamic and leans much more closely to racing the car. Only the budgets are a bit smaller," he laughs. "Team Oryx is still a hobby that got out of hand, and we like to share that passion. It doesn't really make a difference whether you bring 1 car, or 5. We have all the equipment and assistance trucks, so why not share it with other participants? It only makes the bivouac more sociable with a bigger team and it makes for healthy competition among ourselves."
The ambition is there. For the 2024 edition of the MDC, Henri and navigator Daan van Ooijen are aiming for a top-10 result. Henri: "The past edition was the first longer desert rally with this SSV and we did have some start-up problems. The car was clearly struggling with the extreme heat. Over the summer we made some adjustments to address that and it clearly worked. In October, we tested the car again at the Fenek rally and we won it! So mission accomplished." It will be insteresting to see what the MDC will bring...
Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.