BARENDRECHT, Netherlands – Valvoline™, a brand of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH), announced that its recently introduced Valvoline All-Fleet Extra NextGen SAE 15W-40, ACEA E7-08 engine oil was selected as the engine oil of choice by the Van den Brink Rallysport & Mammoet Rallysport team at the recent 2012 Dakar Rally in South America. The Dutch team, driving in an X 2222 GINAF, finished in 13th position in the truck category at this year’s event, which covered a 9.000 km route from the Atlantic Ocean through the mountains and desert dunes of Argentina, Chile and Peru to the Pacific coast of the continent.

“The performance of NextGen during the race was superb,” said driver Martin van den Brink. “This race was one of the toughest and most extreme Dakar rallies I ever participated in. It really put the drivers and the material to the test. NextGen passed the test flawlessly.”

The NextGen engine oil formula is made from 50 percent recycled oil and delivers 100 percent Valvoline engine protection, making it great for engines and better for the environment. It exceeds industry specifications with reduced environmental impact because recycling takes fewer resources than refining crude oil.

NextGen engine oil is the culmination of years of continued research, technology and innovation from Valvoline scientists coupled with advancement in the oil re-refining process. Used oil is refined with the same processes as crude oil. Because used oil actually contains fewer contaminants and more usable molecules than crude oil, the result is new, high-quality base oil. The highest quality recycled oil is used and then improved with Valvoline’s award-winning additives to make NextGen exceed industry specifications and match the high quality of other Valvoline engine oils.

“NextGen engine oil is a truly exciting product for our customers in EMEA,” said Frank Rouwens, director of business development and marketing, Valvoline EMEA. “Its successful use at the Dakar proves once more its superb performance even in the toughest circumstances. Its contribution to reduce the impact on our environment makes it even more appealing to our customers, and brings a new, compelling and differentiated proposition to the transportation markets.”

Over the years, the Dakar Rally has visited the most beautiful open spaces and natural sites such as the African and South American deserts and forests. The organizers of the Dakar are constantly probing possibilities to reduce the Rally’s environmental impact of this rally, encouraging the competitors to take part with vehicles that use renewable energy. Valvoline and team Van den Brink Rallysport & Mammoet Rallysport are fully dedicated to this cause, which is underlined by the decision to drive the 2012 Dakar with the new environmentally responsible NextGen engine oil.

“Valvoline and my team are a perfect match,” said Martin van der Brink. “I will definitely continue racing with NextGen and am looking forward to future cooperation with Valvoline.” Valvoline, a brand of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH), serves heavy-duty industrial and on-highway markets with Premium Blue™ engine oils, All-Fleet™ engine oils, NextGen engine oils created with 50 percent recycled oil and Valvoline Car Care products. Additional details about Valvoline’s heavy-duty products can be found at http://www.valvolineeurope.com.

In more than 100 countries, the people of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH) provide the specialty chemicals, technologies and insights to help customers create new and improved products for today and sustainable solutions for tomorrow. Our chemistry is at work every day in a wide variety of markets and applications, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment. Visit http://www.ashland.com to see the innovations we offer through our four commercial units – Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Ashland Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials and Ashland Consumer Markets.

The team has arrived back in Holland safe and sound after 2 weeks of Dakar, which this year saw lots of technicals issues, but still pushing through and finishing just shy of the top10 in 13th position.





On the final day all competitors were welcomed in a the finish line where also the prize ceremony was held, in Lima Peru. Of course the whole team, sponsors, friends and family were waiting for the trucks to come in and welcome them and congratulate them.

It were 2 very long and hard weeks and Martin van den Brink was confronted with one set back after another, having to fight his way back up the ranks again. The goal was to finish top 10 in the Dakar of 2012, already after a couple of stages with lots of technical problems it became clear that goal for this year might be a bit to much. Martin kept strong though and fought his way back, on the second to last stage he had a real shot to get back into the top10 again, but it just wasn’t ment to be this year and technical problems struck again. In the last stage, Martin drove his truck over the finish line in 7th position, finishing in the same position as where he started in the first stage. In the overall standing he finished in a very strong 13th position, considering all the technical problems he faced, really makes you wonder, what could have been. Martien finished with his support truck in 32th position of the day and also 32th in the overall standing of 2 weeks Dakar. Congratulations to the The Rooy team, taking both the victory in the truck division and also the second position, great job and its awesome that the mighty Kamaz trucks have been beaten again after years of victories in a row. Now its time to party and relax a bit….it will be 2013 before we know it!


Video of the 11th stage, besides a tire that blew a good day with no real troubles. Subtitles to the video will follow during the day.

Yesterday was a pretty rough day in Dakar and the last 3 days seem to be getting even harder! Lots of trucks, cars and motorcycles had to withdraw from the race….or were forced to withdraw because of crashes and technical problems. It is always that the last part of Dakar is the “make it or break it phase”. For Valvoline it was a good day, although in the Dakar 2012 we are used to not have all the good luck at our side. Martin was driving one of his best days and had a shot to finish 6th for the day until a tire blew while driving over a rock! He fell back and finished still in a great 13th position. In the overall standing he is now in 11th position and the goal “finishing top 10″ is within reach. The coming stages are very hard, the ASO Dakar organization says today will be the toughest of all stages. Martin is dedicated to give his very best and push his it to the limit.

Day 10 turned out to be a very unique experience for Martin and his team. After hours of driving on rocks and stones they arrived for the last 20 kilometres of sand dunes, when they arrived bad luck struck again and the gearbox failed and they weren’t able to change gears anymore! So they faced the incredible challenge of having to cross the dunes without changing gears. They lost about and hour, getting stuck in the dunes and having to dig there way out. They arrived at the finishline suprised to hear, that although a delay of about a hour they still finished in 11th position and pushing themselves back to the 13th position overall. The top 10 is getting really close, it is still possible in the last few days of Dakar. Martien in de quick support truck has not arrived after the challenge of yesterday, his exact whereabouts are not exactly known, but he seems to be assisting another Dutch trucker in the dunes.