Eduard Nikolaev’s crew keeps the lead. De Rooy’s team attacks

Airat Mardaev

Even before the start many predicted for Dakar-2019 the glory of an unpredictable race, every day of which will bring many surprises. The explanation is quite logical – the sands and dunes with steep careens hold many surprises. And the fast driving in courses on the wide sandy spaces often lulls the vigilance of sportsmen, and that is fraught with rollovers or getting stuck or problems with navigation. And if yesterday’s first day of the race went more or less smoothly for most crews, today the Peruvian desert has already begun to show its harsh temper. The 342-kilometer special stage from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona was full of all sorts of information subjects which may please the journalists, but grieve some racers. For example, already at the first part of the stage the Dutchman Martin Van Den Brink crashed and damaged his bonnet Renault truck. And the Russian KAMAZ-master crews twice had to act as rescuers: at the very beginning of the stage, the crew of Dmitry Sotnikov assisted the crew of the famous Chinese pilot Han Wei who had technical problems in the first half of the route. Near the end of the special stage Airat Mardeev’s crew stopped to help the Belarusian crew of Siarhei Viazovich.

Eduard Nikolaev

The special section began with a dune area of about 60 kilometers in length, mixed up with fast sandy paths. The middle part of the route was a track along beach near the ocean with passing sandy hills, then there were hard roads. First there was “killing” impassibility, as it is usually called by the Russian rally-raiders, then the hard road started. It was hilly, sometimes with stones. The final part of the special section was a 40-kilometer dune area. The crew navigators had to track down and “take” 98 points along the route.

The leaders of the truck category passed the whole stage in a stable way, which indicates, on the one hand, about the same level of skill of the crews pretending for the podium, and on the other hand, they are cautious and striving to keep cool. The entire special stage was set by Eduard Nikolaev’s crew that started first. Following him crew of the Dutch Gerard De Rooy was almost going neck-and-neck with his speed. Great tempo was shown by Gerard’s teammate the Argentinean Federico Villagra. The zeal shown by the third crew, led by Ton Van Genugten, was evidenced by the fact that his own windscreen was knocked out by vibrations on his IVECO bonnet.

Andrey Karginov

The crew of the Russian Dmitry Sotnikov was driving in his usual aggressive attacking style and this provided him with the third place according to the stage classification. “There were no problems with the truck, generally, we are satisfied. Ragged pace, mixed, sometimes it was necessary to be careful and dunes were not passable everywhere. Somewhere it was possible to ‘get stuck’ on the nose. We tried to be fast but not to risk much, because mistakes in these sands are fraught with a loss of time, and vice versa, on hard sections we tried to speed up. We could be a little faster, we will try to go faster in the following days. Today is only the second day of the race and everyone will try to go faster. No one is going to a hundred percent of his possibilities. Everyone has a reserve,” commented on the results of the day Dmitry Sotnikov.

Andrey Karginov was steadily speeding up along the stage: “In the first part, we were waited by a series of dunes, which often changed by a hard surface. We had to work constantly with the tire pressure. We tried to dump it before climbing the dunes and quickly pump it on hard surfaces in order not to lose speed. In addition to the sand there were very hard areas where it was extremely difficult for the body. It was just unbearable. We tried to go without deceleration. We understood that this was our track and we must use it. There were losses, we got stuck for a short time, but still lost time. Time losses were also due to the fact that we could not find one navigation point. We have not previously faced with it. This is a feature of Dakar, in which we participate after a three-year break. The direction of driving to such a point is not displayed on the navigation device. It ‘is taken’ only when you get directly into the radius of this point.

Andrey Karginov

As the most emotional moment of the day, Akhmet Galiautdinov, mechanic of Airat Mardeev’s crew, noted the end of the stage during the hard sprint with the crews of the Belarusian Siarhei Viazovich and the Czech Martin Macik. At some point, Macik fell behind, and the duel between KAMAZ and MAZ ended with a rollover of the latter. As Airat Mardeev explained, he managed to slow down when he saw GoPro cameras of spectators on the edge of the dune. It is always a sign that there is either a “springboard” or another danger. In this case, it was a “step“. Siarhei Viazovich began to slow down at the last moment, fell forward and the truck almost rolled over the nose to the left side. Mardeev’s crew immediately stopped, helped the Belarusian friends get out of the truck and making sure that their health is not in danger, continued to move to the finish line which was not far. It is curious that the accident occurred almost in the same place where Siarhei Viazovich overturned last year.

The team leader Vladimir Chagin summed up the day: “Today an excellent assessment can be made to the crews of Eduard Nikolaev, Dmitry Sotnikov and Andrey Karginov, however, to Karginov with a remark: he increased the pace to the last 100 kilometers, then unfortunately there was a loss of time due to being stuck in the sand and a navigation problem. As a result, they gave their rivals the time they played back at first. Airat Mardeev showed a stable but slower pace. The whole day he was driving on 10-12th position. I spoke with Airat. It is necessary to change the pace and speed up. It’s nice that today our crews were able to help the Chinese crew of Han Wei and Liao Min. They stopped to help the Belarusian crew of Siarhei Viazovich. Now the trucks are being prepared for tomorrow. The guys didn’t bring any breakdowns from the special stage.

Eduard Nikoaev


Pos. #. Name Make Time Gap
1 500 NIKOLAEV EDUARD KAMAZ 03:47:51 00:00:00
2 503 DE ROOY GERARD IVECO 03:50:30 00:02:39
3 514 SOTNIKOV DMITRY KAMAZ 03:53:19 00:05:28
4 505 VILLAGRA FEDERICO IVECO 03:54:21 00:06:30
5 502 MARDEEV AIRAT KAMAZ 04:05:14 00:17:23
6 504 MACIK MARTIN LIAZ 04:07:10 00:19:19
7 518 KARGINOV ANDREY KAMAZ 04:07:30 00:19:39
8 513 VAN DEN HEUVEL MAURIK IVECO 04:07:58 00:20:07
9 508 KOLOMY MARTIN TATRA 04:08:55 00:21:04
10 509 VAN GENUGTEN TON IVECO 04:18:08 00:30:17
11 501 VIAZOVICH SIARHEI MAZ 04:21:34 00:33:43
12 511 VISHNEUSKI ALIAKSEI MAZ 04:22:53 00:35:02
13 519 VASILEVSKI ALEKSANDR MAZ 04:28:26 00:40:35
14 510 SUGAWARA TERUHITO HINO 04:30:34 00:42:43
15 512 HUZINK GERT RENAULT 04:37:09 00:49:18
16 515 SOLTYS MARTIN TATRA 04:56:25 01:08:34
17 531 VAN KASTEREN JANUS RENAULT TRUCKS 04:57:21 01:09:30
18 520 BEHRINGER MATHIAS MAN 05:06:32 01:18:41
19 507 LOPRAIS ALES TATRA 05:13:15 01:25:24
20 528 DE GROOT RICHARD DAF 05:25:23 01:37:32
21 522 ZUURMOND GERRIT MAN 05:25:51 01:38:00
22 533 TIBAU MAYNOU RAFAEL MAN 07:14:53 03:27:02
23 532 WIGMAN ED MAN 07:32:57 03:45:06
24 516 HERRERO ALBERTO MAN 08:02:16 04:14:25
25 542 BESNARD SYLVAIN MAN 08:04:56 04:17:05
26 539 SKROBANEK FILIP MAN 50:00:00 46:12:09


Pos. #. Name Make Time Gap
1 500 NIKOLAEV EDUARD KAMAZ 04:56:56 00:00:00
2 503 DE ROOY GERARD IVECO 05:01:19 00:04:23
3 505 VILLAGRA FEDERICO IVECO 05:04:19 00:07:23
4 514 SOTNIKOV DMITRY KAMAZ 05:05:57 00:09:01
5 502 MARDEEV AIRAT KAMAZ 05:18:21 00:21:25
6 518 KARGINOV ANDREY KAMAZ 05:20:24 00:23:28
7 504 MACIK MARTIN LIAZ 05:25:20 00:28:24
8 508 KOLOMY MARTIN TATRA 05:25:40 00:28:44
9 509 VAN GENUGTEN TON IVECO 05:27:31 00:30:35
10 513 VAN DEN HEUVEL MAURIK IVECO 05:34:22 00:37:26
11 511 VISHNEUSKI ALIAKSEI MAZ 05:38:06 00:41:10
12 501 VIAZOVICH SIARHEI MAZ 05:41:06 00:44:10
13 519 VASILEVSKI ALEKSANDR MAZ 05:50:16 00:53:20
14 512 HUZINK GERT RENAULT 05:58:29 01:01:33
15 510 SUGAWARA TERUHITO HINO 06:03:20 01:06:24
16 515 SOLTYS MARTIN TATRA 06:12:03 01:15:07
17 531 VAN KASTEREN JANUS RENAULT TRUCKS 06:19:08 01:22:12
18 507 LOPRAIS ALES TATRA 06:28:04 01:31:08
19 520 BEHRINGER MATHIAS MAN 06:48:38 01:51:42
20 522 ZUURMOND GERRIT MAN 07:05:05 02:08:09
21 528 DE GROOT RICHARD DAF 07:06:39 02:09:43
22 532 WIGMAN ED MAN 09:17:47 04:20:51
23 542 BESNARD SYLVAIN MAN 10:25:07 05:28:11
24 516 HERRERO ALBERTO MAN 11:11:43 06:14:47
25 533 TIBAU MAYNOU RAFAEL MAN 14:47:55 09:50:59
26 539 SKROBANEK FILIP MAN 100:00:00 95:03:04


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