Dakar: Paco Crous - Volkswagen interview

Three questions to Volkswagen Logistic Manager Paco Crous You organise the Volkswagen rally armada which includes 78 people and 27 vehicles. Were you concerned at any point? "The most critical point of this Dakar Rally so far, was to catch the...

Three questions to Volkswagen Logistic Manager Paco Crous

You organise the Volkswagen rally armada which includes 78 people and 27 vehicles. Were you concerned at any point?

"The most critical point of this Dakar Rally so far, was to catch the ferry in Malaga on 1 January at 23.30 hours in the evening. The rally is definitely over for any competition vehicle that misses the ferry. That's why the team was under pressure on the second day, however, everything went well for us. Every vehicle was punctually at the port."

What is the logistical challenge of Dakar Rally?

"Before the start we have to solve an enormous puzzle over a long period of time, the complete preparation. On the other hand, during the two European stages you have to finish several tasks in a very short space of time. After the ferry crossing to Africa my function gets easier -- the bulk of the work is already sorted out."

How can a bystander imagine the logistical preparations?

"During the Dakar Rally it is almost impossible to buy anything. That's why it's so important not to forget anything and to have a plentiful supply of parts, equipment and consumables in stock under way. It's particularly difficult to judge just how many consumable items you need on the road. My favourite example is the noodle soup: If every team member eats one soup per day, we have to bring 1,300 soups to Africa. However, if everybody goes up for a second helping then you need double the quantity. It's just as difficult to order water and diesel in advance -- you need an enormous amount of experience, you frequently have to go by your feelings. Or improvise later."

-volkswagen-

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Series Dakar