The Dakar off-road international race is made up of two marathon stages that stretch across miles of South America’s desert terrain. This year, the Chevy Colorado Z71 Rally Raid prototype vehicle will feature HAWE hydraulic valves to help withstand the tough conditions.

The major sporting event not only challenges its drivers’ endurance and racing skills, but their strategic navigational competencies through the terrain. Separated into four classes—bike, quad, car, and truck—each vehicle has to be specially souped up to withstand the wear and tear of the harsh environment.

Chevy chose HAWE’s directional spool SG 1L – AKS valves for use on the 2014 Rally Raid prototype. Available in SG (pipe connection) and SP (manifold mount) versions, the valves allow up to 400 bar, 100 lpm and help control the oil flow and directional movements of jacks within the vehicle. The system’s entirely steel design is resistant to pressure surges and leaks, eliminating the chance of hairline cracks and other damage that can be caused by the desert conditions. The valves have either positive (blocked between switching positions) or negative (slightly floating position) overlap. Other applications include mining machinery, cranes and lifting equipment, and shipbuilding.

Starting on January 5th, 2014, the race will continue until the 18th, covering a total of 2,702 km (and 1,590 km of special stages) over three countries (Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile). Inaugurated in 1979, the Dakar rally now hosts over 500 riders a year from countries all over the world.

For a closer look at the Dakar click here.

More information about the race can be found here.