They are the unsung heroes of a Dakar Rally: The engineers and mechanics who, thanks to the daily service stop, always provide their drivers and co-drivers with the best material. Volkswagen relies on a team of approximately 80 people including the driver/co-driver squads of Giniel de Villiers, Carlos Sainz and company to field the five Race Touaregs between 2 and 16 January in Argentine and Chile. Seven people maintain daily each of the powerful near 300 hp “Dakar” prototypes. “Only those who have top material can also deliver a top performance,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “This not only applies to the drivers and co-drivers but also for their mechanics. This is why the service crew has access to first-class tools and is prepared for every situation.”
Complete set on the service truck, personal tools in the bag
The Volkswagen mechanics are superbly equipped in order to carry out every conceivable job on the Volkswagen Race Touareg which could possibly fall outside the confines of the routine daily maintenance. For this purpose the Wolfsburg based manufacturer mainly uses standard tools of high quality. In addition to the aids used daily like compressed air blowers for cleaning and tyre pressure gauges there are also electric tools such as cordless screwdrivers, hot air blowers and soldering irons available on the service truck. On top of this come almost 50 different spanners, Torx socket boxes, different hexagon tools, torque wrenches, 17 different screwdrivers, sets of files, scribers, steel rules, spring punches and 27 different pliers which are carried by each individual service truck assigned to each Race Touareg. This complex and almost complete tool kit is complemented by nine different special tools – such as a wishbone setting jig – to further improve service friendliness.
Furthermore every mechanic always carries a personal bag, for which they are personally responsible, packed with the most necessary tools. The technicians guard their little marvels with utmost care – because the tools must be ready for action and in perfect working order despite the toughest climatic conditions, the extreme temperatures and dust clouds throughout the 14-day desert tour.
- Volkswagen Motorsport