On 11 October on the press-conference in Naberezhnye Chelny the KAMAZ-master team leader Vladimir Chagin announced composition of crews for rally Dakar-2018. The meeting was held in KAMAZ-master sports center within the traditional press tour for Russian mass media organized by the team.
Pilots of the team Airat Mardeev and Dmitry Sotnikov did test driving on the training area for mass media representatives and showed race trucks, and the team leader Vladimir Chagin told about preparation to the first start of the next year.
Currently the team is finishing preparation to the anniversary fortieth Dakar edition. A bit more than a month is left before the trucks leave for the South America. On 24 November trucks of European participants will be downloaded on the ferry for going across Atlantics in order to start a 9000-km journey from the capital of Peru Lima to Argentinian Cordoba.
The main news of the held press-conference in Naberezhnye Chelny became the crews’ composition, and information, whether the proven on the Silk Way Rally new truck with 13-liter engine takes part in the South American rally. As you remember, immediately after coming from Dakar-2017 a big program of changes and modifications of race trucks was planned. One of the main novelties became a truck with a 13-liter six-cylinder engine. It is a first experience when such an engine is installed on a non-conventional truck in order to comply with Dakar regulations that will already affect trucks of KAMAZ-master since January 2019. Installation of such engine led to big modifications as in the design of the truck so in its appearance.
The same in-line “six” was installed on a bonnet KAMAZ-master truck, but the team management considered it too risky to apply two trucks with new engines for the race at the same time, moreover that most part of the route will go across highlands of Bolivia, where in conditions of oxygen deficit engine load is very high.
Same as before, KAMAZ-master will apply four race trucks for the rally. On Dakar won’t participate crew of Andrey Karginov, who is undertaking treatment after the trauma. He will be deeply missed. Karginov is considered a recognized expert of passing sandy areas, and due to promises of the race officials the whole seven specials will be completely with dunes.
This year KAMAZ-master will miss Africa Eco Race, in which gas-engine race truck was traditionally involved. Vladimir Chagin explained that the project which has been led by the team since 2012 together with Gazprom and VTB would already take a new lease of life from the middle of the next season. For the start of the Silk Way Rally-2018 is being built a new truck with Liebherr engine that works on the mix of diesel and gas.
Vladimir Chagin, KAMAZ-master team leader:
“It is pleasant that it is the first time for many years when we can celebrate New Year at home, as Dakar-2018 starts on 6 January. But the upcoming race is going to be special. First, it will be fortieth Dakar, and secondly, next year KAMAZ-master Team celebrates its 30th anniversary. It brings additional responsibility. Of course, we will fight for the victory.”
Eduard Nikolaev, pilot, winner of rally Dakar-2017:
“I am sure that an interesting route is anticipated on the 40th Dakar edition. The most interesting seems to me Peruvian part, with traditional very challenging sands, big dunes. A serious battle is going to be from the very start of the marathon, practically without warming-up.”
Dmitry Sotnikov, pilot, winner of Silk Way Rally-2017:
“Our crew has a serious target – to test the whole range of technical novelties on our race truck. In the race program from the very beginning there is heat and dunes and then highlands of Bolivia. It is going to be hard as for trucks, so for people.”
CREWS OF KAMAZ-MASTER TEAM ON THE RALLY DAKAR-2018
Pilot E.Nkolaev; navigator E.Yakovlev; mechanic V.Rybakov.
Pilot A.Mardeev; navigator A.Belyaev; mechanic D.Svistunov.
Pilot D.Sotnikov; navigator R.Akhmadeev; mechanic I.Mustafin.
Pilot A.Shibalov; navigator D.Nikitin; mechanic I.Romanov.
DAKAR-2018: PERU, BOLIVIA, ARGENTINA
10TH South American and 40th in general rally-marathon will go on the territories of three countries – Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. Start of the rally-raid will be on 6 January in Lima city – after a five-year break Dakar will come back to Peru. On the territory of this country the race participants will spend five days. Then are expected areas in Bolivia with the rest day on 12 January in La Pas, and the raid will finish on 20 January in Cordoba (Argentina).
THE RACE CALENDAR
22 November Press-conference in Paris
23, 24 November Scrutineering and loading of vehicles in Le Havre port. Crossing Atlantics on the ferry.
2 January Unloading vehicles in Callao port (Peru).
3-5 January Administrative checks and scrutineering in Lima.
6 January Start in Lima, first special section.
12 January Rest day in La Pas (Bolivia).
20 January Finish in Cordoba (Argentina).KAMAZ-MASTER ANNOUNCED CREWS FOR RALLY DAKAR-2018