Technical and administrative checks completed: Renault Trucks vehicles all set for Dakar Rally.

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Technical and administrative checks completed: Renault Trucks vehicles all set for Dakar Rally.

With the Dakar 2009 just around the corner, Renault Trucks passed yet another test when technical and administrative scrutineering took place in Le Havre on 26 and 27 November last. The Renault Kerax assistance vehicle and the Sherpa Cape to Cape built by the French commercial vehicles constructor got their passports to take part in the prestigious rally in South America beginning 2009.

This year, Renault Trucks is entering an assistance vehicle, a Kerax 6x6 developing 450 hp and fitted with a workshop body from which its drivers will provide assistance to the other diamond branded trucks in the rally. The crew of three aboard the Kerax will draw on an assembly of spare parts (gearboxes, brake drums, suspension leaf springs, radiators…) as they provide competitors with diagnostic and repair services.

This 2009 edition of the Dakar will see 22 Renault Kerax tackle the trails of Latin America: seven are race assistance vehicles, 10 are full assistance vehicles, and an additional five will be run by race organisers.

The Sherpa Cape to Cape, entered in the Dakar as a press vehicle, was unveiled for the first time during technical and administrative scrutineering, and it was the centre of attention at the Le Havre Docks, with competitors, journalists and the general public scrambling to see the vehicle. And a unique vehicle it is, with a military chassis base engineered by Renault Trucks Defense and a rally-raid body developed by the Renault Trucks design team. At the recent introduction to the press, the Sherpa got a chance to show off its outstanding off-road capabilities (50 % slopes downhill, obstacles up to one metre in height …).

To date, the Sherpa Cape to Cape is the first of a series of six that will be partnered by a number of Renault Kerax trucks to cross the globe from North to South starting on 1 March as part of the Cape to Cape expedition. In the same mould as The Silk Road expedition, this endeavour, led by Renault Trucks Adventure, will run from Cape North in Norway to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

Before all that, the Sherpa Cape to Cape will be setting off to tackle the tracks and trails of Latin America from 2 to 18 January.

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