Service Vehicle Manager, Volkswagen Motorsport
With the opening two stages of the Dakar Rally the accompanying Volkswagen armada is also on the move each day. What tasks to the individual service vehicles have within the team?
"The spectrum of the service vehicles ranges
from the three Race Trucks – which deliver rapid assistance in the event of a problem – and four service trucks for tools and spare parts and additional equipment trucks and also the service Touareg and T5 vans which provide transport for the team members.”
A key subject during preparation of the cross country rally prototypes like the Race Touareg on the Dakar Rally was high altitudes. Were the service vehicles also specially prepared for crossing the Andes?
"To a large extent this wasn't even necessary. In this respect it goes without saying that you must also be able to rely on our service vehicles. With the production-based Touareg and T5 vans the base is designed anyway for these loads, with the trucks modifications require plenty of work. However the expected power loss through the lower oxygen content in the air won't cause any problems.”
How important are the service vehicles for a factory team like Volkswagen?
"Only the teams with a good service fleet and good mechanics can also guarantee comprehensive maintenance of the rally vehicles. In addition to pure manpower in a team, reliable vehicles for transporting man and material are also vital. Furthermore, it is the task of Race Trucks to assist the rally vehicles on the stages should problems occur. They are also the only permitted assistance during the marathon day between Copiapó and Fiambalá. So, they must not only arrive quickly at the scene but also reach the finish on each day reliably.”