Eduard Nikolaev’s crew became the winner in the truck category of the rally marathon “Dakar-2019”. Another Russian crew, Dmitry Sotnikov, became the silver winner of the extreme race, which finished on January 17 in Lima, the capital of Peru. The bronze was won by the Dutch Gerard De Rooy (Iveco).
To stay focused from start to finish – that was the main target for the contestants on the final 112-km special section of the stage Pisco-Lima. No accident should have prevented the contestants from saving their positions in the race and reach the finish line. Positions in the general classification came to the sportsmen at too high price. The race organizers did everything for the contestants to remember the forty-first Dakar for long by difficulties of the route. Peruvian dunes and impassibility – the 3000-kilometer
long track was marked by the highest category of complexity. The percentage of abandoning contestants in all categories was extremely high. Two more KAMAZ crews, Andrey Karginov and Airat Mardeev, also selflessly fought for the result, but were a bit less successful than their teammates. Andrey Karginov was withdrawn from the race after the 5th stage of the rally. Airat Mardeev abandoned the competition due to
In total, 334 race crews from 61 countries, including 41 race trucks, came out at the start of Dakar-2019. This year in the truck category, apart from KAMAZ-master, recognized leaders of IVECO, TATRA, RENAULT, SCANIA, LIAZ, MAZ and other truck champions claimed the title of the Dakar champions. Apart from KAMAZ, not less than 10 top crews targeted for the Dakar podium in the truck category.
Vladimir Chagin, KAMAZ-master team leader
“Two weeks of the toughest race in Peru ended successfully. Dakar-2019 will be remembered for its extreme complexity. All this time we felt a huge responsibility to the Russian fans, partners of the team. An intense struggle kept everyone in suspense till the last day of the race. For us it was important to prove the advantage of the Russian technology and our motorsport school. It is especially pleasant that we managed to get this victory in the year of the fiftieth anniversary of KAMAZ plant.“
Eduard Nikolaev, pilot of the crew No 500
“The race was at the end of tether of people and vehicles. On the second part of the rally only two our crews were driving. In fact, after the rest day, the race started from a blank slate. We constantly felt the press of rivals. We are particularly happy that the truck did not let down. This is a brand new generation of race trucks of our team, created in accordance with the new regulations of the race. During the last year the whole team spent a lot of effort on its development, construction and adjustment. I am happy that we managed to please all Russians. This is our common victory! ”
Dmitry Sotnikov, pilot of crew No 514
“It is a great happiness that we can finally exhale. Finish and victory! The race was pretty dramatic. From the very beginning KAMAZ-master crews set the pace. It was very important to ‘keep’ the result to the finish line in Lima. Pressing of the rivals was very high. Unpredictable and extremely challenging in passage Peruvian dunes could make adjustments to the situation in the classification any day. But the team tactics, the dedicated work of the whole team and, of course, support of the fans helped us to achieve a remarkable team result: gold and silver of Dakar will go to Russia! ”