“Ready! Attention: 420 km curvy!” – With this phrase organizers described today’s special. Curving, with insidious traps and cunning crossings, steppe Astrakhan roads were to become a perfect training for navigators before Astrakhan-Volgograd stage. Generally, sportsmen, who passed the race equator, had to overcome 366 km of special stages and 54 km of liaison. After the 3rd stage it was difficult to frighten the sportsmen. From the very start racers took an excellent, reliable speed, but unfortunately it didn’t insure everyone against problems. 4 crews of KAMAZ-master Team also faced problems, but Eduard Nikolaev had the least of luck. “There were problems with overheat of engine, turbines, the temperature was high, we also stopped to change metal hose of boost intercooling system, as there was air leak, turbine heated up so much, that it became red”, - told Eduard. Crews of Anton Shibalov, Dmitry Sotnikov and Airat Mardeev also had technical problems today. Notwithstanding the fact that the number of rivals has decreased (on the eve MAZ team decided to withdraw from the race), intensity of emotions doesn’t fall, as everyone knows that in rally-raids all can change any minute.
Andrey Karginov took the lead today, showing excellent, stable drive and finished the special without a single stop. It is especially pleasant to realize the fact that only a year ago Andrey couldn’t apply to the international rally due to a serious back trauma. Thanks largely to orthopedic and trauma center “Ariadna” Andrey Karginov made a full recovery for a short term and today pleased his fans with a brilliant result.
Also today the team’s bivouac was visited by partners of KAMAZ-master Team - representatives of Total company, partnership with them turned into friendship a long time ago. In conversation Eduard Nikolaev and Dmitry Sotnikov told about technical novelties on the trucks this year, automatic gear-box, about preparation to such serious races and life on competitions.
Ruslan Akhmadeev – co-pilot of crew No300:
“Today there were various roads: fast and curvy, there also were bumpy ones – all for navigation and pilotage. It was uneasy to navigate: we were driving first among trucks, in front of us there were tracks of cars only, it was difficult to navigate. It is certainly easier to see treads. The place was familiar for us, moreover Astrakhan steppe allows cutting, that what we were doing. A shock-absorber broke down and occurred electricity problems, due to which we had to stop”.
Dmitry Sotnikov – pilot of crew No300:
“Unfortunately today somewhere a shock absorber lost hold. On the plain terrain started knocking. We were driving for a while but then we had to stop due to electricity problems and we saw it. A water pipe was broken. We quickly made the shock-absorber, topped up water – we were afraid that we will run out of it as engine was hot. We asked Andre Karginov but immediately let him go. We stood for approximately 18 minutes. That’s a pity – as we were driving well. But we are at the finish and that is the most important”.
Sergey Kuprianov – pilot of crew No311:
“Navigation today was quite hard, there were several uneasy positions but my co-pilot coped with them, so it’s ok. Today’s special stage was like the one on the first day. But if then we were exhausted closer to the finish and it was difficult to keep the speed, today we stood out the whole special, very happy with the result. Not in terms of timing, but our feeling: no mistakes, good tempo. The whole speed section we went in one breath. Today we drove on gas: no smoke, good intake, the gas worked the whole special section, all is ok”.
Dmitry Nikitin – co-pilot of crew No306:
“Comparing with Kalmykia, it was much easier today: sand terrains much softer and the truck allowed driving at a good tempo. Of course, there was navigation, but it didn’t seem so challenging. There were some technical problems, we stopped three times, lost about ten minutes”.
Results of the 4th Stage:
1. Crew № 309 Karginov А. (КАМАZ-master)
2. Crew № 304 Martin Van Den Brink (MAMMOET RALLYE SPORT) + 0 min. 59 sec.
3. Crew № 306 Shibalov А. (КАМАZ-master) + 10 min. 04 sec.
4. Crew № 311 Kuprianov S. (КАМАZ-master) + 13 min. 13 sec.
5. Crew № 303 Mardeev А. (КАМАZ-master) + 18 min. 17 sec.
6. Crew № 300 Sotnikov D. (КАМАZ-master) + 20 min. 55 sec.
7. Crew № 308 Sugawara Т. (HINO TEAM SUGAWARA) +32 min. 21 sec.
8. Crew № 301 Nikolaev E. (КАМАZ-master) + 45 min. 54 sec.
1. Crew № 300 Sotnikov D. (КАМАZ-master)
2. Crew № 309 Karginov А. (КАМАZ-master) + 14 min. 03 sec.
3. Crew № 303 Mardeev А. (КАМАZ-master)+ 23 min. 49 sec.
4. Crew № 311 Kuprianov S. (КАМАZ-master) + 41 min. 36 sec.
5. Crew № 306 Shibalov А. (КАМАZ-master) + 1 hour 13 min. 16 sеc.
6. Crew № 308 Sugawara Т. (HINO TEAM SUGAWARA) + 1 hour 43 min. 19 sec.
7. Crew № 301 Nikolaev E. (КАМАZ-master) + 2 hours 33 min. 28 sec.