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Dakar 2016

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.

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