On Sunday, November 12, 2023 the first edition of Dutch Dakar took place. The “farewell day” for the Dutch participants in the Dakar Rally 2024, where they demonstrate their vehicles to the public.
The day started foggy and cold, but most importantly: it was dry and after the fog lifted, the sun even showed itself for a while. About 5000 people visited Dutch Dakar, making it a very successful event. The teams pushed each other to the limit on the demonstration course as a final test before the start of the Dakar Rally 2024 in January.
DLS was also present at Dutch Dakar, with, among other things, a cut-away model of a 4000-series Allison transmission; the most used transmission in the truck class of the Dakar Rally. The day was also used to provide service to the teams and make some final adjustments to the transmissions. For example at the Firemen Dakar team, where something in the control of the Allison transmission had to be quickly adjusted in the morning.
A program has been created especially for the rally world, making that the control lever of the Allison transmission shifts the other way around, which is easier for rally driving. Except for the driver of the Firemen Dakar Team, Richard de Groot: “From driving a fire truck I am used to switching gears in the normal way. If you just drive on the road, it is not a problem if it works differently, because then you have the time to think about whether you need to change gears “differently”. But in the dunes you sometimes have to downshift very quickly when you are in the air and therefore also have to think very fast. And then you quickly do the first thing that comes to mind and that is pull back, but then it shifts forward and things can go wrong. But that has been changed now this morning.”
So, you are satisfied with the transmission? “Yes, we are very excited about it! We actually find it unbelievable that everything remains intact when you see how much force and high temperatures the transmission has to endure during a rally. Of course it goes up a lot and even on the climb and during the descent the transmission continues to shift and maintains the power and torque. I think it’s very unique.”