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Le Dakar

A look back at Dakar 2016 – vehicles with a VB-Airsuspension system
Unfortunately, out of the four vehicles that took part in this year's rally (all equipped with an air suspension system from VB-Airsuspension), only three made it to the finish.

Ginaf Rally Power competition truck #520
For the fourth year in a row, VB-Airsuspension is supporting the Ginaf Rally Power team. VB-Airsuspension brings an enormous amount of added value to this team, both in terms of financial contributions and support for products as well as their testing/development. However, the ambitions of the Ginaf Rally Power team were brought to an abrupt end during the fourth and also the first marathon stage, when Jan Lammers had to retire the Ginaf due to engine problems. Closer investigation revealed that a gearwheel in the engine had fractured, affecting several important parts of the truck. The VB-Airsuspension team was extremely disappointed to see the Ginaf Rally Power team leave Dakar 2016 at such an early stage.

Van Velsen Rally Sport competition truck #542
The Velsen Rally Sport team - competing at the Dakar for the first time - performed extremely well and finished 38th. The team drives a Ginaf truck fitted with a VB-FullAir 4C system. This system was installed in the vehicle used by the Mammoet Rallysport team in previous years, and the air suspension system is still performing at its best now.

Tilburgs Truck parts team service vehicle
The Tilburgs Truck Parts team, also making its début at the Dakar, has a service vehicle with an air suspension system from VB-Airsuspension: its Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is fitted with VB-SemiAir. This auxiliary air suspension system ensures that the mechanics travel more comfortably from bivouac to bivouac, so they stay fresh for the task in hand: ensuring the competition truck is ready for the next stage as quickly and competently as possible.

KAMAZ-master team Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
A large, highly organised, multi-award winning Dakar truck team like KAMAZ will arrive at the Dakar with a substantial fleet of vehicles, including competition trucks, service and press vehicles as well as passenger transport vehicles. A special minibus is available so that the mechanics and other staff can travel from bivouac to bivouac as comfortably as possible. Several years ago KAMAZ contacted VB-Airsuspension to find out whether the ride comfort of its Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibus could be improved. The team at KAMAZ sets great store by the well-being and fitness of its mechanics and, as the road conditions during the Dakar are frequently poor, the team often had a long, uncomfortable drive with the original suspension system. VB-Airsuspension therefore supplied a VB-FullAir 2C system and fitted it to the vehicle. This vastly improved the ride comfort of the minibus, meaning the mechanics arrived refreshed and ready to set to work. The system has been in place in the vehicle for a few years now and is still in perfect working order.

The Dakar rallies demonstrate time and time again that systems from VB-Airsuspension dramatically improve vehicle behaviour.  It is these high quality and exceptionally reliable products that are capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of the Dakar each and every time.

Update: Dakar 2016

The 2016 Dakar Rally has already passed the halfway mark, the ideal moment for a quick review of the first couple of action-packed days.

Unfortunately, of the four vehicles fitted with a VB-Airsuspension air suspension system who left the Dakar starting blocks, only three are still left in the competition.

1. Ginaf Rally Power competition truck #520

 

The ambitions of the Ginaf Rally Power team were brought to an abrupt end during the fourth and also the first marathon stage when Jan Lammers had to retire the Ginaf due to engine problems. Closer investigation revealed that a gearwheel in the engine had fractured, affecting several important components of the truck. All forms of outside assistance are banned during the marathon stage and the three men driving the competition truck were not technically able to resolve the problem on the Cummins engine block without the help of the mechanics. As a result, the team were forced to retire from the competition.

As Silver Sponsor of the Ginaf Rally Power team, VB-Airsuspension not only makes a financial contribution, but was also closely involved in developing and supplying the suspension system on the Ginaf Rally Power truck. So, it is a great disappointment to the VB-Airsuspension team to see the Ginaf Rally Power team leave Dakar 2016 at such an early stage.

 

2. Van Velsen Rally Sport competition truck #542

 

The Van Velsen Rally Sport team – competing at the Dakar for the first time – performed extremely well in the first leg of the competition. The team are driving a Ginaf truck fitted with a VB-FullAir 4C system (air suspension on the front and rear axle). This vehicle has been used by the Mammoet Rallysport team in previous years and has had an air suspension system from VB-Airsuspension for a number of years that is still giving top performance. 

 

3. Tilburgs Truck Parts service truck team

The Tilburgs Truck Parts team, also making its debut at the Dakar, has a service vehicle with an air suspension system from VB-Airsuspension:  their Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is fitted with VB-SemiAir. The VB-SemiAir system means the mechanics travel more comfortably from bivouac to bivouac, so they stay fresh for the task in hand: getting the competition truck ready for the next stage as quickly and competently as possible.

 

4.  Mercedes-Benz Sprinter KAMAZ master team

A big, highly organised team like KAMAZ will arrive at the Dakar with a substantial fleet of vehicles, including competition trucks, service and press vehicles as well as passenger transport vehicles. A special minibus is available so that the mechanics and other staff can travel from bivouac to bivouac as comfortably as possible. Several years ago KAMAZ contacted VB-Airsuspension to find out whether the ride comfort of their Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibus could be improved. The team at KAMAZ sets great store by the well-being and fitness of their mechanics and, as the road conditions during the Dakar are frequently poor, the team often had a long, uncomfortable drive with the original suspension system. VB-Airsuspension therefore supplied a VB-FullAir 2C system and fitted it to the vehicle. This vastly improved the ride comfort of the minibus, meaning the mechanics arrive refreshed and ready to set to work.

VB-Airsuspension would like to wish the teams still in the competition every success in the second leg of the 2016 Dakar Rally. We will report back to you at the end of the Dakar with more news on the action our systems have seen this year.

 

 

Le Dakar 2016

In 2016 VB-Airsuspension is proud sponsor of the Ginaf Rally Power team.
The Ginaf Rally Power team is participating with truck #520
Jan Lammers, Emiel Megens, Erik Kofman

 

VB-Airsuspension all set for Dakar Rally 2015

The Dakar gets underway on 4 January 2015 in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, taking a route through Bolivia to Iquique in Chile. Bolivia will host four stages of the competition this year. On 17 January, the rally will then follow a different route back to the finish in Buenos Aires.

This year, every category will have to complete a number of marathon stages. A new quirk to this year's rally is the requirement for the different categories (trucks, cars, bikes and quads) to take their rest day on different days.

The Dakar route this year covers some 9,000 kilometres.

 

In recent years, VB-Airsuspension has proudly sponsored a number of rally teams taking part in the toughest rally competition in the world: the Dakar. All of these teams have competed in vehicles equipped with a suspension system from VB-Airsuspension, providing VB-Airsuspension with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how its products are capable of withstanding even the harshest conditions of the Dakar Rally! This way they also help to elevate brand awareness for VB-Airsuspension.

 

This year there will be a number of changes:

With ten years of the Dakar rally under his belt, Henk Knuiman will not be taking part, nor will he be driving his service vehicle equipped with VB-SemiAir. Henk has now turned his attention to helping young people and VB-Airsuspension would like to wish him every success.

The Mammoet Rallysport team, which has previously competed with a GINAF equipped with VB-FullAir, has joined the MKR Adventure team for this year's rally and will be competing with a Renault equipped with conventional leaf spring suspension.

Nevertheless, VB-Airsuspension would like to wish the Mammoet Rallysport team every success in the Dakar 2015.

Mammoet Rallysport Dakar 2014

Mammoet Rallysport Dakar 2015

The GINAF Rally Power team will compete this year with an improved VB-FullAir air suspension system on the truck's front and rear axle.

The air suspension has been tested and implemented in collaboration with GINAF and HAN (Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen) with a number of live tests in quarries in Menden, Germany and in Morocco.
A number of improvements have been made to the bellows and steering, and work has been carried out with the manufacturer of the dampers to determine the adjustments that needed to be made to the dampers.

The GINAF Rally Power team will be competing with three trucks this year:

Truck no. 511 with Wuf van Ginkel, Bert van Donkelaar and Hugo Kupper

Truck no. 522 with Jos Smink, Peter Nieuwenburg and Peter Stijkel

Truck no. 528 with Edwin van Ginkel, Herman Vaanholt and Emiel Megens

GINAF Rally Service's rapid service truck (no. 562) , which is also equipped with VB-FullAir, will also be taking part in the rally this year.

The truck will be driven by Jan Lammers, accompanied by Sven Vogelaar and Daniel Bruinsma.
In the event of problems with any of the GINAF Rally Power trucks, Jan Lammers will be quickly on hand to provide service.

VB-Airsuspension would like to wish the teams of GINAF Rally Power and GINAF Rally Service every success in the Dakar 2015 and is confident that the air suspension systems will put in an outstanding performance once again.

Dakar season gets under way for VB-Airsuspension too!

 

One day really isn't enough to get that 'Dakar feeling', so VB-Airsuspension and its partners the Dakar Press Team, 4WD and Veth Carrosseriefabriek organised a true mini Dakar experience the day before the Dakar Pre-Prologue.

On Saturday 9 November, invited guests gathered at the De Witte Ruysheuvel motocross track in Oss to find out exactly how it feels to master tough terrain in a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Guests could take to the wheel themselves, or experience the thrill of a Dakar vehicle as a passenger!

VB-Airsuspension provided a number of vehicles for the event, including 
a Mercedes-Benz G Class and a Land Rover Defender fitted with VB-FullAir 4C. The air suspension kits on both of these vehicles were developed in close collaboration with our partner JS Automotive. In addition, VB-Airsuspension used the event as the perfect opportunity to introduce its products for pick-up vehicles, also bringing a Volkswagen Amarok and a Nissan Navara with VB-FullAir 2C to the event.

The event was a great success and offered guests the chance to test the air suspension kits under real off-road conditions.

 

Dakar Pre-Prologue

The Dakar Pre-Prologue day began on a rainy note, but like the year before, turned out to be a beautifully sunny day.
The public turned out in strong numbers for what was a fantastic day, taking advantage of every opportunity to admire their favourite vehicles and drivers first hand.

For VB-Airsuspension, the event also provided the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of its products among the public. 

Following the success of the previous year's event and endless positive responses, VB-Airsuspension expanded its product range for this year to include kits for off-road vehicles and pick-ups.
VB-Airsuspension developed a VB-SemiAir system (semi air suspension) for various pick-up brands and a VB-FullAir system (full air suspension system) for the Land Rover Defender and Mercedes-Benz G Class, amongst others.

The Dakar Pre-Prologue was a final opportunity for teams, drivers and VB-Airsuspension to check that everything is working correctly before the vehicles are sent on to Le Havre. All teams completed the circuit without incident, and the test was thus also a resounding success for VB-Airsuspension.

 

With all modifications to the air suspension performing exactly as the company had hoped, VB-Airsuspension was able to declare the air suspension ready for Dakar 2014.

There have been a number of changes to teams and vehicles. The following table lists the teams and their vehicles, service vehicles and/or press vehicles currently using air suspension systems from VB-Airsuspension.


Team

Vehicle

Competition/service/press

Driver

Mammoet Rallysport

Ginaf X2222

Competition

Martin van den Brink

Mammoet Rallysport

Ginaf X2222

Competition

Pascal de Baar

Ginaf Rally Power

Ginaf X2222

Competition

Jos Smink

Ginaf Rally Power

Ginaf X2222

Competition

Wuf van Ginkel

Ginaf Rally Power

Ginaf X2222

Competition

Edwin van Ginkel

Ginaf Rally Power

Ginaf X2222

Competition

Jack Brouwers

Ginaf Rally Power

Ginaf X2222

Competition

Jan Lammers

Ginaf Rally Service

Ginaf X2222

Competition

Daniël Bruinsma

Team Henk Knuiman

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Service

 

Maxxis Dakar Team

Dodge Ram

Service

 

Dakar Press Team

Volkswagen Amarok

Press

 Leon Jansen

Dakar Press Team

Toyota Land Cruiser

Press

 

 




Keep an eye out for these teams at Dakar 2014 and you'll be certain to see the VB-Airsuspension logo as the vehicles thunder by!

www.vbgoesdakar.com

 

 

Dakar 2014 guide

This year's Dakar guide will again be full of spectacular photographs, gripping accounts, reports and many other interesting articles. This year's edition will also showcase a new section, "Holland's Glory", which will turn the spotlight on Dutch companies with a presence at the Dakar.


VB-Airsuspension is very proud to be one of these companies
as it confirms once again that suspension systems from VB-Airsuspension are ready for the toughest of challenges, such as the Dakar.

With such a great article in this year's edition, VB-Airsuspension has opted to have a special cover for a number of copies so that we can distribute these to trusted partners.
See the outcome here.


The Dakar guide is packed with interesting articles and stunning photographs, and we highly recommend getting hold of a copy!

If you'd like to read the article on VB-Airsuspension straight away, please visit the following link.

 

 

Tested by Le Dakar 2013
 

VB-Airsuspension and Le Dakar
You are bound to have heard about VB's participation in Le Dakar, the toughest rally in the world.

 

By participating in Le Dakar 2013, VB-Airsuspension's main aim was to demonstrate the outstanding quality of VB-Airsuspension's products by showing that they are a match for even the most demanding of environments.

And we are delighted to announce that we achieved our aim!

Various vehicles at Le Dakar 2013 were equipped with (air) suspension systems supplied by VB-Airsuspension, for instance the GINAF trucks of Mammoet Rallysport, Rally Team Smink, ItalTrans and Racing for Holland, the Volkswagen Amarok and Toyota Land Cruiser of the Dakar Press Team, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter of the HSF Logistics Henstek Rally Team and the Dodge Ram of the Maxxis Dakar Team Powered by SuperB.
 
 
 

Enhanced full air suspension systems on GINAF X2222 trucks

Because of nagging problems with the existing air suspension system in GINAF X2222 trucks over the last few years at Le Dakar, the teams realised it was time to find a solution. It wasn't long beforeone of the teams contacted VB-Airsuspension to see if the Varsseveld-based company could do something about the existing air suspension. VB wouldn't be VB if it wasn't able to find a suitable solution. VB-Airsuspension adapted and enhanced the existing air suspension system especially to cope with the challenges of Le Dakar. For instance, the position of the bellows was changed, a new air filter was added and the VB-ASCU control unit developed by VB-Airsuspension was installed. Thanks to the successful performance of the system during the Silk Way Rally in Russia in August 2012, all GINAF trucks - including those of other teams - are now equipped with the new VB-Airsuspension system.

The air suspension systems developed by VB-Airsuspension have withstood the challenges presented by every stage of Le Dakar without any problems. And all teams are very satisfied with the result!
 
 
Martin van den Brink explains: "VB-Airsuspension has improved our truck immensely. Comfort is not really important as far as I'm concerned: when the truck jumps you want to jump with it. You want to be able to drive fast and have everything stay in one piece - that's all! The work done by the VB guys was excellent, and both our mechanics and I are very pleased with it. None of the components VB is responsible for have broken. The truck drives much more reliably and yes: we are still jumping! Just take a look at the photo."
 
 

 
Jos Smink explains: "After the Silk Way Rally in Russia, Martin van de Brink came to me with an enthusiastic story about the VB-Airsuspension system. We do a great deal together with Team Mammoet and Team Smink, so I was keen to give it a try. There wasn't much opportunity to test the system out, so we did have some reservations. But now, we're delighted we took the plunge! The truck drives much better, we don't get so tired, and above all: everything stays in one piece. Other years, the bumps and bruises from the suspension kept us tossing and turning every night. Now, we don't suffer at all. They're grand lads one and all, including the VB guys. They really are 100% behind their product."
 
 
 

Jan Lammers explains: "With my race and skid school experience, I am probably the best one to talk about suspension. One word will suffice: fantastic! More comfort, improved stability, more accurate steering and, above all, no more drift. And all that with a truck that weighs over 10 tonnes. We all know that when things are going well, you drive faster, and that's when it can all go wrong in the Dakar! So, we had our moments, but the suspension absorbed the impacts excellently. It was somewhat different other years, when you would emerge from the truck a wreck as a result of the impacts. Now, that is more or less a thing of the past. I am delighted with the suspension system and would like to wish the guys from VB every success with the further commercialisation of their products."
 
 

Wuf van Ginkel (Team Manager at Ginaf Service) explains: "After using a standard hydraulic suspension system for many years, the frequent problems being reported by our customers forced us to switch to an alternative system in 2012. Air suspension seemed to be the solution. Unfortunately, our own air suspension system came with a number of undesirable side effects. The biggest problems were drift, tilting of the vehicle and collapse whenever we used the tyre deflation system. I was with Martin van de Brink during the Silk Way Rally and was able to observe the VB-Airsuspension system in action from close range. The guys from VB set to work with the test results from Russia and came up with some creative solutions. Much has changed following the Silk Way Rally, even with the fact that the first VB adjustments had already resolved the problems of tilting and collapse.
 
If I am honest, I was not immediately convinced by all the adjustments made for the Dakar, but I have to be honest: it doesn't just work, it works really well! The trucks used by Jan Lammers and Claudio Belina (Ital-Trans) are the ones we hire out. So, we needed to be sure of a return on our investment. Since fitting the VB-Airsuspension system on these trucks, we are experiencing noticeably fewer problems. We are not sure exactly why yet, but that's the reality nonetheless. Every single truck finished the race too, for the first time in many years. Our customers are extremely satisfied, which means that we are too.
We are continuing our partnership with VB-Airsuspension. Partners like these will play a very important role in the development of our new Dakar race truck."
 
 
 
 
Volkswagen Amarok with VB-FullAir 2C “Special Dakar Edition”


VB-Airsuspension developed a brand new VB-FullAir 2C system especially for Le Dakar for the Volkswagen Amarok. This set was installed in the "VB"-blue rally vehicle sponsored by VB-Airsuspension which was used as a press vehicle for the Dakar Press Team (DPT).

The system was designed such that even the highest dunes and deepest river beds could be tackled without any problems. After all, DPT takes the same route as competitors at Le Dakar, so it can capture the most stunning shots and videos. And to follow in the tracks of the competitors, the team obviously needed a top quality vehicle.

The Dakar Press Team is very satisfied with the vehicle and system!
“The system is outstanding. We didn't break down in any of the stages despite the very rugged terrain. We didn't even have any problems with the suspension! And another benefit is that it was really comfortable to drive. After driving 10,000 km, I'm far less tired than I used to be after Le Dakar! We set off with a lot of weight, too much in fact, but thanks to this new air suspension, a comfortable, relaxing and stable ride was assured”, explained Leon Jansen (team captain and also driver of the Volkswagen Amarok).
 
 


 

Enhanced air suspension on the Toyota Land Cruiser

The Dakar Press Team's second vehicle which also joined the Dakar convoy was a Toyota Land Cruiser. This vehicle had already been fitted with an air suspension system supplied by a different company, but just as with the GINAF truck teams, this team wasn't happy with their system. “Problems kept cropping up with the system. The front axle air bellows regularly snapped or the system leaked. So one thing was for sure - you wouldn't have a stable and comfortable ride. We even considered going back to steel springs”, added Leon Jansen.
 
Things clearly had to change. VB-Airsuspension made significant adjustments to the Toyota Land Cruiser's existing air suspension: A VB-ASCU (Air Suspension Control Unit) was installed on the vehicle and different bellows were mounted on the front axle. These various changes resulted in enhanced comfort, stable driving and NO problems.
 
“I have to say, I don't understand how it all works! The VB people from Varsseveld install their equipment and do their thing and then it works, the vehicle drives fantastically and I no longer have to tinker around with it. I may be the mechanic for the Dakar Press Team, but my main reason for going to Le Dakar is to take amazing photos. So as you can imagine, I'm delighted that VB-Airsuspension's products work”, explained Dirk van der Veen, driver of the Toyota Land Cruiser.
 
 
 
 
 
VB-SemiAir system on the service vehicle of the HSF Logistics Henstek Rally Team

You obviously have to take a large number of tools, spare parts and other equipment with you to Le Dakar. So the service vehicles are often heavily weighed down, you could even say they're weighed down too much! Heavily laden vehicles "sag" at the back, which in turn affects ride quality and stability, not to mention ground clearance. And another thing to take into consideration is that the roads in South America aren't the same quality as roads in Europe. So it's not unusual for the suspension to “drift” in potholes and over bumps.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter of the HSF Logistics Henstek Rally Team also had to deal with this problem. So the team had a VB-SemiAir suspension system supplied by VB-Airsuspension installed. Thanks to this system, the vehicle stays nice and upright, it has ground clearance once more, ride quality is hugely improved and comfort is unparalleled.
 
“We have built up a lot of experience after ten years at Dakar”, explained driver and team captain Henk Knuiman. “Because of the significant overhang at the back of our bus and the weight we're “dragging” along, the back often used to hit the ground, causing us to bounce around as we were driving. It was really uncomfortable and the mechanics found it difficult to sleep in the service bus. And sleep is really important for them to remain fit for the job. Now all I hear is praise and compliments. We don't have to deal with any damage and the mechanics have even admitted they're surprised it was possible for so little money. It's fantastic, we're really pleased!”
 
The VB-SemiAir system from VB-Airsuspension obviously proved to be a match for even the most demanding of environments during Le Dakar. Once again, confirmation of an outstanding product in VB-Airsuspension's range.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extra leaf spring on the service/press vehicle of the Maxxis Dakar Team Powered by SuperB
 
 
As we've already said, all Dakar teams have to travel with a large number of tools, spare parts, camera and filming equipment, although they don't really have enough room for it all. This sometimes results in somewhat unusual constructions.
Specially built service vehicles are packed to the brim. It's clear to see that they quickly reach their maximum capacity.
 
The Dodge Ram entered by the Maxxis Dakar Team Powered by SuperB also had to contend with this problem. “As a result of the special design, the vehicle started to “sag” at the back, even before loading all the equipment. Our vehicle is a rugged truck with high ground clearance, so we initially thought it would be OK. But once we were fully packed up and had carried out a last-minute test drive, we realised things weren't OK and we couldn't set off like this”, explained team manager Gerben Vruggink. “We were nearly due to set off, so we had to find a solution really quickly for a vehicle that is hardly driven in the Netherlands. I remembered VB-Airsuspension from Le Dakar 2009 and was sure they would understand the urgency of the matter and could help me with my problem, even with such tight timescales.”
Something clearly had to be done, because the Dodge Ram's existing leaf spring system was not that robust and certainly didn't have sufficient carrying capacity.
VB thought outside the box and came up with a solution: “VB didn't have a set for our vehicle and there wasn't enough time to develop one. Nevertheless, the VB team understood what we needed and came up with a solution”, explained team owner Henk Hellegers. “VB-Airsuspension is clearly a specialist in the field of air suspension. By using an extra leaf spring, the vehicle was nice and upright once more and its ride quality was vastly improved. This meant we could again enjoy optimum handling of our vehicle. The flexibility, customer focus and speed with which the people from VB came up with this “new product” under exceptional conditions are really incredible”.
 
This system also withstood the demanding environments of Le Dakar without any difficulty. It remains to be seen whether it will be mass-produced, but in any event it shows VB-Airsuspension is capable of supplying products across the entire breadth of the suspension range. Once again, these products stand up to expectations and withstand the toughest tests.
 
 

__________________________________________________________

Dakar 2013 a great success for VB-Airsuspension.

Dakar 2013 once again presented an incredibly tough challenge to the participants.
Last year the Dakar convoy started in Argentina and made its way to Chile and Peru. This year the route was reversed, heading south from its starting point in Peru. The participants in 2012 found the sand and dunes of Peru to be one of the toughest stages of the rally. This year the Dakar convoy faced this challenge soon after starting out, and some of the participants had to drop out as early as this first stage.

From Peru the participants drove across the Andes to Argentina, where they encountered completely different terrain, with an extremely varied landscape and course. The rest day was on 13 January in Tucumán (Argentina).
 
After travelling along Chile's long coastline, they reached the finish line in Santiago, the capital of this magnificent country.

Dakar 2013 was once again a tough contest, testing drivers to their physical and mental limits. Needless to say the course also took its toll on the vehicles and equipment.
 
 
 
VB-Airsuspension had two aims at Dakar 2013: to raise the profile of VB-Airsuspension as a brand and to demonstrate the outstanding quality of VB-Airsuspension products by showing that they are a match for even the most demanding of environments.

Several teams at Dakar 2013 used air suspension systems from VB-Airsuspension: Mammoet Rallysport, Rally Team Smink, ItalTrans and Racing for Holland. The VB-Airsuspension logo appeared prominently on all these trucks. This resulted in some good exposure during broadcasts by RTL Dakar.

VB-Airsuspension also worked with the Dakar Press Team, which captured some amazing imagery of Dakar 2013. With its professional staff, the Dakar Press Team has been providing photography and editing services for many Dakar participants and its partners in the media since 2004.
 
This year VB-Airsuspension sponsored the Dakar Press Team with a brand-new Volkswagen Amarok kitted out especially for the Dakar. It was equipped with a full air suspension system (VB-FullAir 2C) from VB-Airsuspension that was specially developed for Dakar 2013. The Amarok looked resplendent in VB-Airsuspension's familiar blue livery.


The Dakar Press Team ensured that VB-Airsuspension was seen as often as possible during Dakar 2013 with attractive photos and spectacular image material. So I think we can safely say we have achieved our first aim!

As mentioned previously, the VB-Airsuspension logo appeared several times during broadcasts of the Dakar on RTL7. If you look at how much one minute's air time costs on RTL7 during the Dakar and then consider the number of times VB-Airsuspension appeared on screen, we did very well indeed!
We have also received some fantastic imagery and video material from the Dakar Press Team, to whom we would like to express our thanks. We will use these items in future publicity material.
 
 
 
 
 
But have we achieved our second aim?
 
 
The answer to that is a resounding 'yes'! Our aim during Dakar 2013 was to demonstrate the outstanding quality of VB-Airsuspension products by showing that they are a match for any challenge.
All “our” rally teams finished in the top 25 of the overall truck rankings: Mammoet Rallysport finished in 11th place, Rally Team Smink in 12th, ItalTrans 23rd and Racing for Holland came in at 25.
 
 
The truck teams were very pleased with the air suspension systems supplied by VB-Airsuspension and had few or no problems with them. The Mammoet Rallysport team had one faulty bellows during the whole competition, but there were no other issues. If you compare this with the previous air suspension system, in which there was a bellows fault virtually every day, there can be no doubt about the quality of the VB-Airsuspension system.
 
The newly developed VB-FullAir 2C system on the Volkswagen Amarok also withstood the tough conditions of the Dakar with ease and carried the team comfortably and safely across dunes and mountain passes without any problems.
 
 
 
To summarise, we are delighted and very proud that VB-Airsuspension has successfully achieved the two goals it set itself!
 
 
To read all the reports and see the results for “our” rally teams in full, go to our special Dakar website: www.vbgoesdakar.com
 

 

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The next Dakar rally will once again present an incredibly tough challenge to the participants.
Last year the Dakar convoy started in Argentina and made its way to Chile and Peru. This year the route has been reversed, heading south from its starting point in Peru. The participants in 2012 found the sand and dunes of Peru to be one of the toughest stages of the rally. This year they will be facing this challenge soon after they set off.

From Peru the participants will drive across the Andes to Argentina, where they will encounter completely different terrain, with an extremely varied landscape and course. The rest day will also be in Argentina, on 13 January in Tucumán.

Finally, the participants will head on to the challenging terrain of Chile, where endurance and talent will be critical as they travel through the Atacama desert.

After travelling along Chile's long coastline, they will reach the finish in Santiago, the capital of this magnificent country.
Once again it promises to be a fierce contest that only the strongest will come through.
 
 
Why VB-Airsuspension and the Dakar?

 
The main aim of our participation in the Dakar is to make the VB-Airsuspension brand “visible”.
“VB-Airsuspension manufactures products that are mostly found underneath vehicles, which are functional and certainly not sexy,” as Iginio Voorhorst is fond of saying. VB-Airsuspension is also keen to show that it is up for a challenge and supplies top-quality products that are able to withstand any test.
The Marketing department saw the Dakar as the perfect opportunity to raise the profile of the brand, while at the same time making a positive contribution to the image of VB-Airsuspension.
It goes without saying that only vehicles equipped with the best products will reach the finish line of the world's toughest rally. So, this is an ideal opportunity to show the world that VB-Airsuspension is a top company with top employees and top products.

Several teams will be driving with air suspension systems from VB-Airsuspension at Dakar 2013. Suspension is not a high-visibility vehicle component, so we have had to find other ways to push ourselves into the spotlight during the Dakar.

The passion for the Dakar rally is an enduring one for VB-Airsuspension and, as a result, the company decided to act as sponsors for the following rally teams this year: Mammoet Rallysport with driver Martin van den Brink, Rally Team Smink with driver Jos Smink, ItalTrans with driver Claudio Bellina and Racing for Holland with driver Jan Lammers. The VB-Airsuspension logo will appear on all these trucks.

So, keep an eye out for the Mammoet Rallysport, Rally Team Smink, ItalTrans and Racing For Holland teams at Le Dakar 2013, as well as the VB-Airsuspension logo!
 
 
How is VB-Airsuspension raising its profile at the Dakar?
 
This is something that VB-Airsuspension cannot do on its own, of course. That is why this year the company has entered into a partnership with the Dakar Press Team. The Dakar Press Team has proven itself over the years and is now a permanent fixture at the world's biggest and toughest rally. With its professional team, the Dakar Press Team has been providing photography and editing services for numerous participants in the Dakar and for its partners in the media since 2004.

This year VB-Airsuspension is sponsoring the Dakar Press Team with a brand-new Volkswagen Amarok that has been prepared especially for the Dakar. It hardly needs to be said that it is fitted a full air suspension system (VB-FullAir 2C) from VB-Airsuspension that has been specially developed for Dakar 2013.

VB-Airsuspension has also fitted out the Dakar Press Team's Toyota Land Cruiser with an enhanced VB-FullAir 4C system.
This ensures that the members of the Dakar Press Team can accompany the Dakar convoy while enjoying a safe, comfortable and stable ride.


The Dakar Press Team will make sure that VB-Airsuspension gets seen as often as possible during Dakar 2013, through attractive photos and spectacular image material.
 


Take a look at the Dakar Press Team website here.

 

 

 
 

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