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Jacobine Kamp on driving old cars, struggles with finding sponsorships and her inspiration for Dakar

Ever since Dutch-born Jacobine Kamp got her driver's license, she’s been driving old cars and keeping every car she has running. Together with her husband, she has taken many trips with their special cars, making memories that will last a lifetime. She’s also no stranger to the famous Dakar Rally.

Nowadays, much more attention is needed in terms of safety to get old cars ready for a rally. For example, Jacobine says - in conversation with Females in Motorsport - the couple had to make all sorts of drastic changes to the car to ensure safety. This includes welding the roll cage, buying racing seats with six-point belts, and adding extra lighting to the low car. They also put a plate under the car to protect the engine and hydraulic lines and also invested in better tires.

Besides their passion for old cars, Jacobine and her husband Kees are also parents of three adult children and live in the countryside with many animals. When she’s not busy rallying, she has her own coaching business called Spelkunst (translated to Playart). Her colleague is an orthopedagogue and Jacobine is a visual arts therapist. Together with her husband Kees, she loves traveling and sailing.

Special trips have therefore been made over the years, and always by car. As a family, they drove around Africa with a Mercedes 911, 4x4 truck, among other things. A fun detail is that Jacobine got her truck driving license especially for this trip.

"Also with our Citroën CX we drove from the Netherlands to Ghana and visited Sierra Leone and Liberia, Ivory Coast and Mali, among other places," she tells Females in Motorsport.

Jacobine was inspired to participate in the Dakar Classic when she was in West Africa and saw the first edition on television. They signed up, and their first goal was to finish the race rather than win.

"We saw a Peugeot 504 Pickup, of which we also had a few and drove to Africa," she said. “In 1981, a factory team of Citroën participated with four CXs in the Dakar. Jacky Ickx was one of the pilots, it was his first Paris-Dakar"

Asked if it is difficult to find sponsors, Jacobine says it certainly is. They tried at Citroën Netherlands, but they had no budget for sponsoring.

"Actually, it only works if you know the people, and we’re not really familiar with the rally world,” she says. “We ended up mostly sponsored by Citroën CX enthusiasts and companies that do something with the Citroën CX and family and friends."

So as a thank you to all the people who did support the couple, the car has a sticker, "Sponsored by people!". Part of the sponsorship money goes to the Bright Future for Children Foundation, which is dedicated to the education of children in the Casamance from Senegal where the Dakar used to run to.

Asked about any rallies she’d like to participate in a near future, Jacobine says she was asked last year to participate in the women's rally Jameel in Saudi Arabia.

"Just to be able to help the women who’re still driving there for such a short time, it seemed to me to be tremendously fun,” she says. “Unfortunately, my pilot had not paid her fees and I wasn’t able to take part."

Jacobine is fortunate to have so many rich memories from her travels and the Dakar - ones that shape who she is as a person today.

“You feel so insignificant as a human being in the desert when things don't go your way for a while,” she says. “You do become very much reliant on yourself and each other."

It also gives her a lot of euphoria to do things with the car that you never would’ve known was possible beforehand.

"You push your limits,” she says. “Also all that tinkering, or if you get stuck and manage to get loose again, you get so much adrenaline from that. From the moment you wake up until the moment you go back to bed, you're racing.

“It’s so beautiful with all those people doing it. Even now in my dreams I'm still racing and coming up with solutions to the things that have come our way."

Her advice to young women interested in rallying is to take any changes you get.

“Yes, it’s tremendously exciting!” she concludes. “Get to know your car and, most of all, try to enjoy it!"

On March 2, Jacobine messaged us to let us know that she will be traveling to Saudi Arabia for the women-only Jameel Rally as a co-pilot. We’re happy that she’s finally able to compete this time.

“It’s a big challenge and hopefully a lot of fun with only women. I'm excited!”

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Katy wiwi
Katy wiwi
31 ene

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As we take Jacobina Kamp on her exciting journey into the world of motorsport in Women in Motorsport, we're inspired by seeing her passion for driving old cars, the challenges of finding sponsors and the determination that fuels her Dakar ambitions. For those looking for information on how to prepare your hunting vehicle for adventure, the recommended resource provides valuable advice and expert knowledge. It's a fascinating parallel that demonstrates the importance of preparation and performance both on the race track and in the wilderness. Thank you for bringing together these dynamic worlds of motorsports and outdoor adventure!

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