The Dakar Rally – What is it?
The Dakar Rally (or simply “The Dakar”) is an annual rally raid organized by the Amaury Sport Organisation. Since its inception in 1977, most races took place from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal. But due to security threats in Mauritania, which led to the cancellation of the 2008 rally, races since 2009 have been held in South America. The race is open to both amateur and professional entries, of which amateurs typically comprise of eighty percent of all participants.
The race is an off-road endurance event. The terrain that the competitors traverse is much tougher than that used in conventional rallying, and the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles rather than modified on-road vehicles. Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks, and erg among others. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 800–900 kilometres (500–560 mi) per day.
Vesconite Hilube Bushings in Suspensions of Colcar’s Racing Team Vehicles
Colcar Racing Team is a partner of Vesconite, and used the no-grease Hilube busings in the suspensions of their racing vehicles during the 2019 Dakar Rally.
The use of Vesconite Hilube in the Argentinian team’s vehicles builds on a growing record of Vesconite Hilube use in their yearly Dakar entries.
In 2018, Vesconite Hilube bushings were fitted to two trucks, one of which finished in position 23. In 2017, meanwhile, the Argentinian team finished in 33rd position, and continued to use their Vesconite Hilube bushings for two other local competitions that covered a total distance equivalent to three Dakar Rallies.
For the 2019 Dakar Rally, Colcar Racing Team participated in the truck category (vehicles weighing more than 3,500 kg – or 7,700 lbs), as well as the utility vehicle (UTV) category, also known as four-wheel side-by-side vehicle or recreational off-highway vehicle category.
The Colcar UTV won its category and finished 18 overall.
“The polymer bushings have proven themselves over the grueling annual 9,000 km multi-country South American Dakar endurance race that covers various terrains, including sand dunes, mountains and salt flats,” comments Leandro Panzini of VesArg, the Argentinian distributor of the Vesconite Hilube.
“Suspension bushings are important in vehicle safety, ride comfort and handling and also align suspension and steering components … and they are paramount in the Dakar, in which vehicles travel at between 100 and 200 kilometers per hour (62-124mph) in all kinds of terrain over 15 days,” he says.
In the Dakar vehicles, the bushings were exposed to an oscillating movement with many cycles per minute taking place, and performed much better than the nylon-molybdenum bushings that they replaced, reports Panzini, who is proud to have Vesconite Hilube associated with this historic race and performing so well each year in race vehicles.
Watch the video below about the Colcar team during this year’s Dakar Rally:
Gallagher is a distributor of Vesconite products for all industries. If you have questions about using Vesconite in any application, contact our engineering department.