Dakar Rally is an off-road rally that every year takes place in Latin America in a terrain that is much tougher than what the drivers are used to. Dakar gathers drivers from all over the world, who wish to participate in the world’s most extreme race. In 15 days more than 5000 kilometres are covered. This is a unique competition that are highly demanding for both men and machine. More than 500 participants from 60 different nationalities in more than 300 off-road vehicles enter the race every year. Endurance and willpower are key.
Dakar is not like other rallies. The participants are not allowed to used navigation equipment. Instead, they are given a compass and some points to drive to. The participants can follow a trail, but sometimes must blaze their own trail. It demands a lot from the rally participants that they must navigate using natural indications. Even if they find their own way, they must get back to the trail in order not to lose their bearings about which direction to travel.
During the rally’s stages, only the driver and any co-driver are allowed to work on the vehicle. Mechanics are not allowed to assist the driver until they get to the bivouac. So the drivers must be very familiar with their vehicles.
MASCOT has supplied clothing for Team Coronel’s Dakar mechanics for several years running and this year is no exception. The work they do during the race takes place under some very special conditions and MASCOT is proud to be their preferred supplier.
The requirements of a Dakar mechanic are high. Media Manager for the Maxxis Dakar Team, Martijn van Oort says: »The mechanics have a tough job during the Dakar Rally. They get almost no sleep and are always working. When the work on the buggy is done, they are responsible for getting the truck with spare parts to the next destination on time, where they then have to build the workshop again. From there it’s just a matter of waiting for the vehicles.«
It's important for them that their workwear is both comfortable and easy to work in. In South America, it is generally warm, but they are faced with all kinds of weather.
»Overall, it is extremely demanding work so their workwear must be durable. Of course it is also important for sponsors that the mechanics look presentable. The Dakar Rally is broadcast worldwide so they will be in the spotlight throughout the race,« said Martijn van Oort.
»No-one can predict what is around the next corner in Dakar, or over the next hilltop or even in 100 metres. You must trust yourself and your intuition,« Tim Coronel explains.
»Dakar is one of the hardest rallies you can drive, but it is also an adventure and a boy’s dream. The rally is all about endurance, persistence and about moving one’s boundaries,« Tim Coronel tells us.
Navigational aids are not permitted in the Dakar rally. Instead, you are given a map and a compass, and you must find the best route through the terrain. Tim Coronel tells us that he has really good spatial awareness. »You have to have it in order to navigate around terrain in which there is a surprise every 100 metres. Not everyone completes the rally. You must really have an understanding of the terrain,« he explains.
Dakar takes place in the first weeks of January, but preparations go on all year. Tim Coronel says: »Rally driving is a life style – it is my life style. If you are to complete Dakar you must have the best team behind you. The conditions are extreme and the temperatures can vary between - 7 to + 45 degrees in an hour. In a rally where everything depends on things working, you have to be able to trust your team and the products you have chosen to use. Professionals work with professionals,« explains Tim Coronel. MASCOT has delivered workwear and safety footwear to Tim Coronel’s team of mechanics for many years. »Workwear from MASCOT is high quality and extremely hard-wearing. The mechanics work under demanding conditions and so their workwear also has to work under all sorts of weather conditions,« says Tim Coronel.