23rd "Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles": Mercedes-Benz Vehicles Deliver a Good Performance in the Desert

   23rd "Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles": Mercedes-Benz Vehicles Deliver a Good
                          Performance in the Desert

  PR Newswire

  STUTTGART, Germany, April 22, 2013

STUTTGART, Germany, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  *Fifth and seventh place for the two Mercedes-Benz Vito driven by Daimler 
    women employees
  *Sixth place in the overall rankings for the Sprinter craftswomen
  *Slightly modified Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter vehicles convince
  *The "Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles": a race for a good cause
  *Video-material available for editorial use: http://bit.ly/17rr3VS

The Daimler employees Coralie Lejeune and Susanne Ehmer, Sabrina Trillmann and
Astrid Ebermann, as well as the skilled trades team members Sabrina Mayer and
Larissa Lauber crossed the finish line of the "Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles"
exhausted but satisfied. The Mercedes-drivers were able to capture top
positions with their standard production transporters in the rallye's most
important rankings.

In particular the last stage of the rallye was a real challenge. Not only the
drivers' visibility was significantly restricted by a sandstorm, but the
navigation also became extraordinarily difficult, as the eight checkpoints
were hard to find in the changing landscape. Yet, despite these obstacles, the
Daimler employees Coralie Lejeune and Susanne Ehmer in their Mercedes-Benz
Vito 4x4 managed to finish the race safely with an excellent fifth place in
the Crossover category.

The second Daimler team - Sabrina Trillmann and Astrid Ebermann - also driving
a Mercedes-Benz Vito 4x4, achieved a respectable seventh place in the
Crossover category. The third team - the skilled trades team - consisting of
the optician Larissa Lauber and Sabrina Mayer, employee in a car body shop,
faced the difficult task of driving a Sprinter in the Crossover segment in
competition with smaller off-road vehicles from all top manufacturers. Because
of their long wheelbases, vans have a particularly hard time maneuvering
through the sand dunes typical in the Sahara. Nevertheless, the two women were
able to secure a solid sixth place in their Mercedes Benz Sprinter 4x4.

Slightly modified Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter vehicles convince

Both the two Mercedes-Benz Vito 4x4 models and the Sprinter driven by the
skilled trades team were all standard production vehicles. The all-wheel-drive
models, which were modified only slightly for the desert race, finished the
rallye without any problems to speak of and displayed an outstanding traction,
in spite of the extremely demanding conditions they had to face. The
fuel-efficient four-cylinder diesel engine (OM 651) introduced in the Vito in
2010 was very impressive in terms of its driving performance.

The third rallye vehicle - a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4 - was equipped with a
standard three-liter diesel engine with an output of 140 kW (190 hp), a manual
transmission, and an ex works all-wheel-drive system with open central and
axle differentials.

The "Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles": a race for a good cause

As was the case in the previous three years, physically fit female Daimler
employees with a basic knowledge in French were welcomed to apply to take part
in the "2013 Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles". This year, however, it was the first
time that two craftswomen, who were selected via a tender in a skilled crafts
and trades magazine, had the chance to participate in the rallye.

The "Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles" is organized by women for women. The race,
which is run under the patronage of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, covers a
total distance of 2,500 kilometers and consists of six stages, two of which
are marathon segments that each last two days. A total of 300 women from 20
countries took part in this year's race. The "Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles"
offers no prize money; instead, all proceeds from the competition
(sponsorships and participation fees) are donated to projects that help the
people of Morocco.

A medical convoy makes its way through the country during the race, stopping
along the way to provide medical assistance to nomads living in remote areas.
This year the participating physicians conducted more than 6,000 consultations
during the race and also performed over 100 operations on site.

Video material about the " Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles "  can be downloaded
here: http://bit.ly/17rr3VS



For questions concerning the provided videos please contact:

Christoph Käthe Tel:  +49-711-18-570-50-7006 videoportal@fischerAppelt.de
 
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