Originally Posted by Tesla314
I'm curious, why don't the big bike teams enter cars or trucks into the racing classes (ie #3xx, #4xx, #5xx vehicles) to lend support for mechanicals?
Am I wrong in remembering that this was the original purpose of the cars/trucks classes?
Is it only because of the start time gap between the front bikes and the following cars, that is, that by the time the cars reached them they'd be out of contention? Seems like you could do a chain: team "captain" squares a wheel, swaps rims with water carrier, water carrier waits for fresh wheel off the back of the car. That way the captain doesn't lose all the time to wait for the car, and the water carrier doesn't lose as much time as they would trying to ride in on a squared wheel.
And for that matter, same question for the cars teams, why don't e.g. Robby or Nasser have "garbage trucks" puppydogging them across SA?
The amount of time that would pass before a T4 assistance truck would arrive to provide support (in the modern Dakar format) means that any chance of a win is gone by the time the support vehicle is on the breakdown site.
case in point... HRC's Johnny Campbell waited 3,5 hours for his care package from SPEED Gordon the other day (early in the stage) and RG was running up in the front part of the car field at that stage... a T4 truck (even leading the class) would be at least an hour further afield.
The T4's and T5's were the original service vehicles entered in the race back in the Africa hey days of the 80's and 90's... but as the service routes became more in vogue (T% and T6 service became more common) only the biggest factory MOTO's and larger factory/semi factory AUTO teams bothered with T4 service entries... today most of the T4 trucks are there to race... some have extra spares in them, but they aren't anything like the lumbering 8 wheel drive mobile on course spare parts warehouses that Citröen and Mitsubishi had back in the day.