Eduard Nikolaev’s crew wins in the truck category of Dakar-2018. One more Russian crew of Airat Mardeev becomes a bronze winner of extreme rally that started on 6 January in the capital of Peru Lima and finished in Argentinean Cordoba on 20 January. Belorussian racer Siarhei Viazovich (MAZ) gets silver.
Situation in the truck category kept Russian fans on tenterhooks till the very end. Only one second separated the main rivals Eduard Nikolaev (KAMAZ-master) and Argentinean Federico Villagra (IVECO) in the general classification after 12 stages, two days before the end of the race! The climax was only on pre-last stage San Juan – Cordoba, where due to the gearbox breakdown the Argentinean abandoned the race.
The rally officials did everything for contestants to remember the anniversary 40th Dakar for its difficulty of the route for a long time. Peruvian dunes, Bolivian highlands and Argentinean impassibility – the route of more than 8000 kilometers in length was specified as the highest category of difficulty. The percentage of withdrawals in all categories was incredibly high. All in all sportsmen from 54 countries, including 42 trucks, started in Dakar. This year in the truck category for the title of Dakar champion apart from KAMAZ-master Team pretended recognized leaders like IVECO, TATRA, RENAULT, SCANIA, LIAZ, МАZ and etc. Apart from KAMAZ members, not less than 10 top-crews pretended for Dakar podium in the truck category. Two other KAMAZ crews of Dmitry Sotnikov and Anton Shibalov were a bit less successful than their teammates. Anton Shibalov was abandoned from the race because of not taking control points after fire in his truck. Dmitry Sotnikov took 10th position in the general classification.
Vladimir Chagin, KAMAZ-master team leader
“I am happy that two weeks of the toughest race have finished successfully. All that time we felt a huge responsibility towards Russian fans, partners of the team. The race organizers did a great job. 40th anniversary route will be remembered for long for its extreme challenge. Moreover we are happy to prove advantage of Russian vehicles and our motorsport school in a hard battle, which lasted almost to the last day of the race. It is especially pleasant that it happened on the 30th anniversary of our team.”
Eduard Nikolaev, pilot of crew #500
“Many thanks to all my crew and all our team for this victory. Many thanks to the fans for support that we felt from the very start of the race. It was not easy. At some dramatic moments we thought that it was all over for our crew. But fortunately, the vehicle and people were keeping it. For me personally it is a great happiness to win on the 40thanniversary Dakar and on the 30th anniversary of KAMAZ-master Team”.
Airat Mardeev, pilot of crew #507
“Probably I can’t remember such passions and level of rivalry. And it is combined with fight with nature. Already from the start of the race Peruvian heat and sands were shocking for many contestants. Then goes Bolivian highlands and again sands and impassibility, but now Argentinean. There was not a single day when it would be easier, than the previous one. Everyone was at the limit of strength on Dakar-2018. Just to reach the finish line is already a victory. Bronze bedouin is of a great value for our crew”.
Dakar-2018. Truck Category. 14th Stage Results.
1. VAN GENUGTEN 01:39:47
2. MACIK + 00:00:11
3. SOTNIKOV + 00: 03:35
4. NIKOLAEV + 00:04:17
5.HUZINK + 00:04:55
6. MARDEEV + 00:05:46
7. ARDAVICHUS + 00:06:02
8. VIAZOVICH + 00:07:35
9. VASILEVSKI + 00:12:33
10. SUGAWARA + 00:14:45
Dakar-2018. Truck Category. General Classification After 14th Stage.
1. NIKOLAEV 54:57:37
2. VIAZOVICH + 03:57:17
3. MARDEEV + 05:22:34
4. ARDAVICHUS + 06:38:22
5. MACIK + 07:58:45
6. SUGAWARA + 08:10:16
7. HUZINK + 09:19:23
8. VAN GENUGTEN + 09:24:54
9. VAN DEN HEUVEL + 09:55:05
10.SOTNIKOV + 10:03:47