News from the Volkswagen bivouac
It's hotter than in Africa on this year's Dakar Rally through Argentina and Chile, and these climatic conditions contribute to making it the toughest « Dakar » ever. Including the liaisons, the drivers and co-pilots in particular can spend
up to ten hours behind the wheel of their cross-country rallying prototypes.
And with such a high rate of perspiration in these conditions, the participants not only need to be at the peak of physical fitness, but also need to compensate for this loss of fluids sufficiently : a drink additive was therefore developed at the Institute of Sports Nutrition in Bad Nauheim for the Volkswagen drivers, providing them with the necessary electrolytes, vitamins and trace elements while they are driving.
Each day, Carlos Sainz and the other drivers need around six litres of the drink, which is brought down to a temperature of around ten to 15 degrees Celsius before each leg starts.
There are some 2,200 people travelling around with the « Dakar » bivouac, which pitches up at a new location virtually every day. Around the clock, various meals are made available to the rally participants, the organisers, media reps and sponsors in the central catering area. It takes ten trucks simply to transport the approximately 1.5 tonnes of food around Argentina and Chile.
The meals are cooked by 20 chefs, and the entire catering team totals 80. There are also plenty of liquids to be had, and every day 12,000 half-litre bottles of soft drinks are consumed.