On 12 November trucks of KAMAZ-master Team took a long road to the start of rally-raid Dakar-2018. It was preceded by traditional test of the team on the training area in Tarlovka. The President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, the General Director of PJSC “KAMAZ” Sergey Kogogin, the Minister of Sport and Youth Policy of the Republic of Tatarstan Vladimir Leonov and the Mayor of Naberezhnye Chelny Nail Magdeev came here in order to see off members of KAMAZ-master Team for Dakar and wish them good luck.
The team leader of KAMAZ-master Vladimir Chagin introduced race crews and the team staff to the guests. The President of Tatarstan was told about the preparation process to the rally. The Technical Director of the team Vladimir Guba showed units and aggregates of trucks, that were modified in the preparation to the race. Rustam Minnikhanov personally tested first race bolide of Eduard Nikolaev, and then did a drive on the new truck with 13-liter engine. On this truck, which proved itself on the Silk Way Rally-2017,Dmitry Sotnikov will take part on January rally. Inline-six engine was installed on the cabover KAMAZ race truck in order to comply with Dakar regulations that will affect trucks of KAMAZ-master Team already since January 2019. Installation of such engine led to changes as in the design, so in the outside appearance.
“Every year you make a lot of novelties in the specifications of trucks, and it is always interesting to have a look at that, - said Rustam Minnikhanov. – The main thing is that it is made on the platform of our KAMAZ and with efforts of our mechanics. Today you showed new disk wheels that we earlier bought at Americans, it is a very perspective disk, and the truck performs in a different way.”
Rustam Minnikhanov also shared his impressions about the seen modified KAMAZ race trucks and about test-drive.
“Every year the truck becomes more and more dynamic and more manageable. The system of turning on and off of stabilizers allows to keep very high speed. It allows to pass such rugged terrain. May be ten or even five years ago if we tried to drive on the rugged terrain at such speed, we would definitely have skidded somewhere. Therefore a big work was done and I would like to thank everyone – it is a huge work. What do I want to wish? Only good luck! Because all needed for the win is already done – we have perfect trucks, perfect specialists, perfect mechanics. But competition will be a competition and I would like to wish a good luck on your side,” – said the sportsmen of Tatarstan President.
Also guests were demonstrated a new assistance truck. Its 8 х 8 chassis, developed and made by Research and Development Center of KAMAZ, can be applied in different areas of land-use activities where vehicles need off-road capacity. The President of the Republic highly estimated this direction of the racing team as well.
This year recognized leaders of the truck group IVECO, TATRA, RENAULT, SCANIA, LIAZ will pretend for the Dakar Champion title. The General Director of KAMAZ also didn’t hide his emotions: “ We are seeing off the team for the race. Worries and hopes again … Up to the present date our hopes were met, life will show what the upcoming Dakar will look like. The team worked hard for the whole year. I will never leave the team behind, therefore I see the emotional state of the racers. It is impossible to be without emotions in such sport. You win when you are prepared to the maximum and do your work with maximum enthusiasm. If you are not ready and not keen to win – you won’t get it”.
2018 is remarkable for the 40th anniversary of Dakar Rally, and KAMAZ-master Team will celebrate its 30th anniversary from its foundation. The Mayor of Naberezhnye Chelny Nail Magdeev expressed mood of many KAMAZ-master fans that will attentively follow its performance in January: “Legendary KAMAZ-master Team – they are real men! For our country and for our republic and for our city – it is a national honor and a national brand. Half-million motor-city is proud for its team, and today we with good, kind mood see them off to the one of the most challenging and at the same time interesting races. I am sure that we will meet them as winners again. We believe in our team!”
Straight after the event crews took the course for the French port Le Havre, where trucks will pass first scrutineering checks. On 24 November vehicles of European race participants will start a 9000-km journey from the capital of Peru Lima to the Argentinian Cordoba.
CREWS OF KAMAZ-MASTER TEAM ON THE RALLY DAKAR-2018
500 Pilot E.Nkolaev; navigator E.Yakovlev; mechanic V.Rybakov.
502 Pilot A.Mardeev; navigator A.Belyaev; mechanic D.Svistunov.
507 Pilot D.Sotnikov; navigator R.Akhmadeev; mechanic I.Mustafin.
515 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 – 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).