The excitement of the Dakar rally is palpable; on 5 January 2013 a number of international racing teams started their journeys in an attempt to cross the finish line first.
Spanning three South American countries, the Dakar is widely regarded as one of the most difficult rally races in the world. For the first time, the 2013 desert stages will take place in first few days of the rally. Racing through Peru and Argentina before finishing in Santiago, Chile, the participants will have to go the distance – more than 8 000km for a successful finish in the Dakar.
A few figures to consider while watching this year’s Dakar rally:
* 53­ – the number of nationalities represented in the 2013 Dakar, a new record since the rally’s inception in 1978;
* 40 – the number of quad bikes entered, another record;
* 19 – the age of the rally’s youngest competitor, Robert Van Pelt Jr of the Netherlands, who participated on a motorcycle;
* 71 – the age of rally’s oldest competitor, Francisco Claudio Regunaschi of Argentina, who participated in a motor vehicle; and
* 1 700 – the total number of competitors expected to participate in this year’s rally, including race and assistance teams.
Glyn Hall, director for Toyota Motorsports, believes that choosing the right parts for vehicles will be the difference between finishing and not finishing at all.
“There are few components that will not impact negatively on the performance of a vehicle if they fail, such as interior lighting. However, there are also more important components that could result in the end of the race if they fail, such as the battery.”
In their preparation for Dakar 2013, Hall and his team set out to find the right components to take the team further than they have gone before.
The team wanted a proudly South African battery for their vehicles, and last July began testing the Raylite Ultimate AGM battery from First National Battery. The result? The robust reliability and durability of the battery impressed the team so much, that it has become their first choice for their Dakar quest.
The rugged off-road terrain of deserts and mountain passes requires a battery that will not puncture or be easily damaged as a result of enduring vibration.
The AGM front-of-wave technology immobilises the acid in the battery, making it spill-proof should the casing become punctured. The tightly compressed internal construction has also made the battery vibration resistant.
Potholes and rough terrain are easy work for the AGM as it is less likely to damage the plates.
Team Toyota takes selecting and using a battery seriously and they only select the best. Even though most people won’t be entering the Dakar Rally, the Raylite Ultimate battery with leading AGM technology is still a perfect choice for regular motor vehicles – especially newer models that have stop-start functionality and diesel engines with high compression ratios.
The reason? The battery gives a lot of starting current. The AGM technology – available in 70Ah, 80Ah and 92Ah – is especially suitable for deep cycle applications, designed to withstand ongoing discharging and recharging, and offers up to three times the deep cycle life of a conventional (flooded) battery. Like all FNB batteries, the AGM is 99% recyclable and has a nationwide guarantee.