The twelfth and final stage of the Dakar Rally 2021 in Saudi Arabia was held along the route Yanbu-Jeddah on Friday, January 15.
Everything has its beginning and its end. So the 43rd Dakar edition is coming to an end. The second year in a row athletes from all over the world start their motorsport season with the legendary race for endurance in Saudi Arabia. Having started on January 3 in Jeddah and making a huge loop 8000 km long along the Arabian Peninsula, the Dakar 2021 finished on the Red Sea coast.
Immediately after the start of the final SS in Yanbu behind a hillocky sandy plateau along the route to Jeddah, dunes of second and third levels of difficulty appeared – first kilometers became a serious test for ambitions of the racers. The second half of the track once again allowed co-drivers show their navigating skills – the right chosen course along hardly visible tracks on stone surface and fast gravel roads in the river beds opened the way to the crews across golden sand to the Red Sea coast and long awaited finish of the two-week adventure called Dakar 2021.
The best time at the twelfth stage was shown by Martin Macik, being 4 seconds ahead of Dmitry Sotnikov and one minute ahead of Anton Shibalov. The winner of the Dakar in the truck category for the first time in his career became Dmitry Sotnikov. The second place was taken by Anton Shibalov and Airat Mardeev became the third. Andrey Karginov finished the rally on the seventh position. Last time the team from Naberezhnye Chelny took the first three positions at the Dakar in 2015. For KAMAZ-master team the champion title became the 18th in the history.
Vladimir Chagin, the head of KAMAZ-master team: “Two weeks of the toughest rivalry on the routes of Saudi Arabia finished with the victory of KAMAZ-master team! Three crews of KAMAZ-master team are on the podium. I am happy that this year all four trucks reached the finish. Yes, not everyone was lucky at the stages, there were technical issues, it also was physically hard to conquer with challenging conditions, but this is Dakar. And wins the one, who could endure, push himself beyond his limits. I congratulate the crew of Dmitry Sotnikov with the first victory in the career! The guys did a great job, showed a proper spirit. Crews of Anton Shibalov and Airat Mardeev completed the race well too. Andrey Karginov showed a great teamwork, working for a common result of the team. But this victory wouldn’t have happened without concerted efforts of the whole staff of KAMAZ-master. We are grateful to our partners for cooperation in such a difficult time! We thank our numerous fans, worrying about our team all this time! Your support helped us during the entire Dakar.“
Dmitry Sotnikov, pilot of crew No 507: “I am lost for words, only emotions. I still don’t believe that we have won. We were going to this victory for several years, gradually coming closer to it. And now I am happy, I am proud of all the guys. This is something fantastic and unbelievable, our crew and the whole team did a very hard work in order to occur on the first place. I am happy that KAMAZ-master took all three prize positions at this Dakar. This success required much labor and sweat. This is not only fight on the track but also dedicated work of the assistance team. Each special stage was a real challenge and it was great that our KAMAZ did never fail us. Thanks to all those who helped, believed and supported our crew!”
Anton Shibalov, pilot of crew No 501: “Second year in a row we finished the Dakar on the second position. As any sportsman, we want to win, but I am happy that on the first place appeared Dima Sotnikov. It is great that Airat Mardeev is in top 3. Two weeks of the marathon turned out very tough. But all of us did a great job and in the end arrived at the excellent result!”
Airat Mardeev, pilot of crew No 509: “I was happy to come back to compete at this extreme marathon. We missed last year and now plunged again into this unbelievable atmosphere of fight and occurred on the third place. Rivalry with other teams this year turned out breathtaking and unpredictable. Step by step our crew moved forward and defended bronze. It is pleasant to see and realize that this year our team turned out stronger. I congratulate the guys with this success!”
CEO of the state corporation Rostec, a Board Chairman of KAMAZ PTC Sergey Chemezov congratulated the team with another victory and noted the professionalism of the whole staff: “I congratulate KAMAZ-master team with already the 18th victory at the Dakar Rally 2021. Russian drivers turned out not only the best on many heaviest stages of the competition, but throughout the whole race they didn’t give any chance to their rivals to climb to the podium. This success is a bright example of a good teamwork, where reliability of the Russian vehicles and professionalism of the whole team brought to an excellent result.”
General Director of KAMAZ PTC Sergey Kogogin, when congratulated KAMAZ-master, noted the iron character, skills and team spirit of the Russian crews: “The victory of our team is especially important at this difficult period for the whole world. Our guys didn’t only win in the battle of engines, vehicles and people, the mere fact of which is important, our sportsmen won in the new pandemic situation, when training and competition passed with serious limits, which added additional stress, including mental one. They showed iron character, skills and team spirit, thanks to which Golden Dakar Bedouins again appeared in the hand of the Russian team.”
The truck category. Rankings of the 12th stage. Top 10.
|9||506||Martin VAN DEN BRINK||RENAULT||02:56:51||00:24:24|
|10||515||Pascal DE BAAR||RENAULT||02:57:22||00:24:55|
The truck category. General classification. Top 10.
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