Race engineer, Volkswagen Motorsport
Three questions to race engineer René Verbist.
What happens on the rest day during the Dakar Rally on 8 January in Nouakchott?
"It will be a busy working weekend for the Service Team, since we use the rest day to prepare the
five Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 prototypes for the second-half of the rally. After all, we are still faced with seven tough stages totalling more than 4095 kilometres.”
Which jobs are actually carried out?
"The gearboxes, differentials, brake discs and steering racks are changed as scheduled. The parts required are already lying ready for use in the Service Trucks. In addition, we also check the chassis, engine and clutch, but also remove the seats to check the safety belts and to clean the rally car thoroughly from top to bottom inside and out, because loads of sand and dust will have collected in every corner."
How long will this work take?
"We start immediately after the eighth stage has finished on Saturday evening and need almost certainly every minute till Sunday night. Although a gearbox change can be completed in less than one hour under normal rallying conditions we take the time on the rest day to inspect every component closely and schedule around three hours for this. Actually only the drivers have time to relax on the rest day."
Press Release Volkswagen Motorsport