The Dakar Rally witnesses a historic return as the Völkel Dakar Team enters the prestigious Dakar Classic Rally for the first time in 2024. Two legendary "Fast Assistance" Mercedes-Benz NG 2636 6x6 trucks, famed for their durability and power, navigate the challenging Saudi Arabian desert. Originally part of the Mitsubishi Dakar Team in 1986 and 1987, these trucks, equipped with a formidable V10 engine, bring a legacy of Dakar victories and renowned drivers to the classic rally stage.
In a remarkable revival, the Völkel Dakar Team has ventured into the 2024 Dakar Classic Rally, marking their inaugural participation in this revered event. The spotlight of this historic comeback shines on two iconic "Fast Assistance" Mercedes-Benz NG 2636 6x6 trucks, showcasing their rugged reliability and impressive performance in the challenging terrain of the Saudi Arabian desert.
Originating from the Mitsubishi Dakar Team stable in 1986 and 1987, these trucks are not just vehicles; they are legends with an 18.5-liter V10 engine, delivering a robust 360 hp. Their 6x6 all-wheel-drive capability and a top speed of 125 km/h make them ideally suited for the demanding landscape of the Dakar Rally.
These trucks have a rich history, having participated in the Dakar Rally annually from their debut until 2009. After a successful tenure, they found new life under JDM Catering, contributing to the Africa Race (Paris to Dakar) until 2020.
In 2020, Rally Raid Service GmbH, under the management of Jörg Sand and Bastian Klausing, took charge of these legendary trucks. With support from experienced Mercedes-Benz truck partners, the vehicles underwent restoration, ensuring they were race-ready for future endeavors.
Beyond their technical prowess, these trucks carry the legacy of celebrated drivers, including Dakar winner Henry Magne and Dakar technical manager Thierry Viadot. Their names resonate with Dakar enthusiasts, adding a layer of nostalgia to the rally.
The indispensable role of these Mercedes trucks within the Völkel Dakar Team is highlighted in the 2024 Dakar Rally, serving the service team under the guidance of TV presenter, race car driver, and drummer Lina van de Mars. The team, fueled by these resurrected legends, has already showcased their prowess, securing an impressive 9th place after the prologue and the initial three stages.
In conclusion, the return of the Völkel Dakar Team, accompanied by the legendary "Fast Assistance" Mercedes-Benz trucks, has injected a dose of nostalgia and excitement into the 2024 Dakar Classic Rally. The robust history of these trucks, coupled with their exceptional performance, symbolizes a triumphant revival on the challenging desert tracks. As these iconic vehicles navigate the rally stages, they not only embody past victories but also pave the way for new achievements, supported by a dedicated team and a legacy that resonates with Dakar enthusiasts worldwide. The ongoing rally promises more thrilling chapters in the saga of these resurrected legends.