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The Bosch Car Service mechanics workshops: where the Gazelles pamper their third teammate

Around the rally

Not far from the bivouac lies a parallel world: the Bosch Car Service mechanics workshops. This space, set up a short distance from the rest of the bivouac, is a sacred place for the Gazelles. They pay it a visit every day, and without the mechanics, it would be impossible to finish a competition like this where the vehicles are really put to the test.

Many partners in the mechanical workshops 

New Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc partner Bosch Car Service, a network of independent garages with 650 points of sale in France, the French overseas territories and Morocco, maintains and services all types of vehicles. At the bivouac, the network provides portable electrical equipment and diagnostic tools such as the KTS, a premium diagnostic solution that has been around for 30 years that helps guide the mechanics in predicting what could go wrong with the vehicles.

The workshops have the support of technical partners Euro4x4Parts and Koni. In addition, Kraftwerk, Rallye partner for the past three years, supplies hand tools for the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc mechanical assistance team. Their pliers, ratchets and portable LED lamps and socket wrenches are among the tools that are being used during this 29th edition. This precious support guarantees quality equipment for the Rallye mechanics who work tirelessly every day to repair the damaged vehicles.

Magicians, guardian angels, saviours

Close to 50 volunteer mechanics look after the participants’ vehicles. Seven of them spend the days out on the terrain to be on location in the event of a mechanical assistance call. Five workshops take care of repairs at the bivouac, one of which specializes in SSV vehicles and the electric cars in E-Gazelles VINCI Immobilier Class. The mechanics’ schedule is opposite to that of the rest of the Rallye.They are like our saviours. They perform miracles while we sleep.” When the teams return at the end of the day, they have one hour and not a minute more to deliver their vehicles and mechanics sheets to the head mechanic. If they exceed the one-hour time limit, they are penalized one penalty kilometre per minute.

The mechanics generally begin their work day around 6 p.m., and sometimes they work through the night to repair a vehicle. Vehicles may require a simple checkup or more serious repairs requiring several hours of work. “I go every day, as soon as I get back, because we work our vehicles hard and it’s important for them to be checked. They’re magicians and if they weren’t there, a lot of teams would never finish the competition”, declares the driver of Team 177 (Delphine BICHOFFE / France CLEVES - Greentech). For Team 159 (Amandine LEPREUX / Elodie COTTER - Takoma),they’re our guardian angels; they reassure us.

The mechanics often achieve “minor miracles” and manage to get disabled vehicles up and running again. Head mechanic Christian Viano is in charge of this parallel world. “We’re all passionate about 4x4s and rallies here”, he explains. Passion, pushing one’s limits and adventure can also be found at the Bosch Car Service workshops…




Dominique Serra has dedicated this 29th edition to Nasrin Sotoudeh – prominent Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate – who has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for “inciting corruption and prostitution” by defending women who took off their headscarves in public.

I encourage everyone to sign the petition for her release.