From 23 to 27 April second stage of the Russian Rally-raid Championship “Gold of Kagan 2021” will be held in Astrakhan. This year the race celebrates its 10-year jubilee and will be held as a four-day baja more than 1200 km in length, 870 km of which are special sections.
7 KAMAZ-master crews will take part in the race. The start in Astrakhan will be preceded by training in Volgograd region.
The head of KAMAZ-master team Vladimir Chagin in the interview with RIA news told about objectives to be attained by the team.
- Vladimir Gennadyevich, first of all what stands out is not seven crews, applied for the Gold of Kagan in April, but Bogdan Karimov in the role of a pilot in one of the trucks. Why have you entrusted the truck to the rookie?
- A few years ago we started to develop children’s and youth programs in the team, focused on searching talented pilots, mechanics, co-pilots. And little by little it is becoming to yield fruit. Last year our juniors took part at the Russian championship stages as mechanics and showed themselves well. From the look in their eyes you could see a big desire to be in the team, grow and develop. And the main dream of the guys is still a pilot seat in the sports crew.
Gradually we came to the conclusion that we can entrust them trucks. And now we are preparing Bogdan to new role for him – pilot of KAMAZ-master team. All juniors, and besides Bogdan Karimov there are Albert Arslanov and Vadim Akhmetov as a co-pilot and a mechanic respectively in Airat Mardeev’s crew, as well Iskander Romanov in the role of a mechanic in Dmitry Sotnikov’s crew, are supervised by our pilots. Eduard Nikolaev, for example, supervises Karimov. Eduard shares his rich experience, shows himself as a good tutor. I think that the current role of supervisors will be easy for our pilots as earlier they themselves were in the shoes of the young guys.
- Karimov in 2019 made his debut as a mechanic in the international competition, in 2020 he drove on the Gold of Kagan in the same role in Nikolaev’s crew. Such a fast career development - in a few years from a mechanic to pilots – seems amazing. Does this young racer have an incredible talent?
-Bogdan is only taking initial steps in the new role for himself. And here it is important to lead him correctly, not to push and not to require immediate result. Therefore, the task is simple – to go through the whole race, not to break the truck and receive the first experience as a pilot. We don’t say about the target to show any result with him. He proved well himself on last competitions, took part in tests on the test ground. Eduard said that on the result of training drive, Bogdan can already sit at the wheel of a truck in competitions.
Old residents of the team should share their experience, pass over the team spirit, its ideology, help the youth and not to hold back anything. The power of the team lies in continuity of generations. For those, who will change the experienced pilots in our team in the future, I would like to wish to be respectful to the veterans, to value this trust and soak up information like a sponge. Then the team will grow and not reduce the level, set on the global stage.
- The Gold of Kagan is always the first race, where technical novelties, made after the Dakar, are tested. What will you test this time?
-Many novelties we started to plan already in the autumn before going to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, we always send proved technical solutions to the main start of the year. And the Dakar 2021 gave us many various ideas, which we will implement in life. In every truck there will be its own test program on the race in the Astrakhan region. For us it is important to study and test as many engineering solutions as possible. Nikolaev is responsible for it, he is not only a pilot but also an engineer responsible for tests and modernization of racing vehicles. And only the race will show what novelties will define themselves, which of them will be implemented in the future.
Russian Championship Stage “Gold of Kagan 2021” in Astrakhan