Mercedes-Benz Vans has sent four teams to the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles 2016 in Morocco, the world’s only off-road event exclusive to women. A total of 160 teams have entered for this year’s rally, which will last 10 days in Southern Morocco’s deserts.
Each team, as in your standard rallies, is made up of two individuals. Check out the Mercedes roster beloew:
- first-timers Bianca Manz and Alexandra Jansen, who are Daimler engineers;
- goldsmith Viola Hermann and master plumber Vanessa Wagner, second-timers who are entered in cooperation with the ‘Deutsche Handwerks Zeitung’ publication;
- master carpenter Madeleine Oster and master joiner Catrin Peest, who are entering for the first time in the starting lineup, also entered in cooperation with the ‘Deutsche Handwerks Zeitung’ publication;
- Doctor Eva Holzhauser and sales expert Nicole Marquardt, first time in the starting lineup, and entered in cooperation with the ‘Mercedes-Fans.de’ online magazine
Mercedes’ teams will be bannered by two 163-horsepower Sprinter 316 BlueTEC 4×4 and two 190-horsepower Vito 119 BlueTEC 4×4 vans. Only slight modifications have been made on these near-production variety vans’ drivetrains, electronics, and engines. Roll cages are added of course, along with underbody protection, special tires, and bucket seats.
Teams start out at Erfoud, going east to west all the way to the Atlantic coast of Morocco. The rally is comprised of six stages, which include two marathon legs that go for over two days with only overnight stops as the breaks. The last leg of the rally takes the teams to the port city of Essaouira.
If you’d like to get updates on the teams as they go through the rally, you can follow the @Daimler_CV Twitter account. You can also check out some images of the Mercedes-Benz Vans teams from the event in the gallery below.