Dakar: Team Vanguard scrutineering report

December 30, 2005 - Lisbon Portugal - In the final preparation for the Dakar race, Team Vanguard passes technical inspection. All four vehicles are moved to a secure holding compound until the start of the race. This insures that no modifications...

December 30, 2005 - Lisbon Portugal - In the final preparation for the Dakar race, Team Vanguard passes technical inspection. All four vehicles are moved to a secure holding compound until the start of the race. This insures that no modifications are made to the vehicles prior to the start of the race. Cars and drivers will reunite just 15 minutes prior to their start times. The first car will start at 8:30 am, based on the car number Ronn Bailey's car #354 will start at 9:50am.

Referred to as technical scrutineering, both car and driver are inspected to determine that they meet the standards and requirements established by the ASO for the Dakar. Safety is the primary concern. Specification for frame strength, the roll cage structure, helmet ventilation, racing suits, navigation equipment, and emergency tracking equipment are all tested. The vehicles must also adhere to environmental safety standards to prevent damage to the environment. Equally important, the drivers and navigators are questioned to ensure that they have studied the Dakar rules, regulations, and safety manuals. Even the smallest details, such as proof of the required medical forms and travel visas, are questioned.

The scrutineering process only took Team Vanguard six hours to complete. For some competitors the process can take ten hours or more. "I feel proud that we passed without any major issues. We would have finished sooner but there was one minor problem with the computerized tracking system that took some time to iron out. That we passed scrutineering without any major problems is a testament to SMG's professionalism and attention to detail. Now we can focus on mental preparation for the race," states Team Vanguard founder Ronn Bailey.

This year Team Vanguard is running 4 competitive vehicles: #354 - Ronn Bailey's buggy, #317 - Philippe Gache's buggy, #180 - Kevin Heath's KTM 660 motorcycle, and #544 - the team T4 support truck.

"I'm very proud of my car this year. It seems to be drawing a lot of attention from the press and competitors alike. Just wait 'til they see how it runs."

-vanguard-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Philippe Gache , Ronn Bailey , Kevin Heath