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Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles

March 21, 2013 • Motorsports, News

Four Mercedes-Benz vans will compete in the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles

Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles - Image courtesy of BenzInsider

Mercedes-Benz is giving its female employees the chance to shine in the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles. The five employees will drive two Sprinter and two Vito models through the desert in order to raise money for charity.

The five women were chosen from over 100 employees through an extensive qualification process, and they will drive or navigate from the passenger seat throughout the Rallye. German TV moderator Lina Van de Mars will compete for the first time, and the team also includes two winners of a contest sponsored by a professional skilled trades magazine.

The Rallye features 150 teams from 20 countries, and it is a women-only event. Teams must traverse the 2,500km distance through the Moroccan desert to the city of Essaouira, and they will complete six distinct stages without using GPS systems or telephones. The race tests intelligence as much as driving skills, as the aim is to travel the least number of kilometres between checkpoints.

As the course comprises sand dunes and boulders amongst other obstacles, the Daimler participants will be driving some of the most durable vans around. The team will be driving two Sprinter models and two Vito models, both of which feature 4×4 drivetrains to ensure smooth off-road performance. The vehicles clearly show the brand’s ‘Vans. Born to run’ tagline, and they have been fitted with extra features, like rollover cages and special desert tyres, in order to enhance their performance on rough terrain even further.

The 23rd Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is designed for the toughest vehicles, and the most intelligent drivers. All proceeds from the Rallye will be donated to doctors who provide medical care to residents of remote southern Moroccan villages, and last year’s event allowed some 4,000 patients to receive free medical treatment.

Lina Van de Mars, from the Mercedes-Benz team, said: “The charitable idea behind the rallye is perfect, because the people who are helped by the race really need this support.”

A Daimler team powered by a Vito 4×4 won their category in the 2011 Rallye, and the brand is hopeful that its success will continue. Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said goodbye to the team and wished them luck in person, commenting: “Daimler is giving its women employees the opportunity to gain rallye experience for the fourth time.”

Mercedes-Benz Retail Group has a range of impressive vans, including the Sprinter and the Vito models. If you would like to book a test drive, please contact us today.

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