Russian team “KAMAZ-Master” won the 40-th rally-marathon “Dakar” and won the 15-th victory in the year of its 30th anniversary. For the second consecutive year first place in the category of trucks took the crew of Eduard Nikolaev and Ayrat Mardeev completed the success of the “Blue Armada”, finishing third.
Despite the absence of main rival Gerard de Rooy’s race was really tough for the team from Naberezhnye Chelny. Anton Shibalov was withdrawn from the race after not quite understand judicial decisions, Dmitry Sotnikov, the speakers on the truck with 13-litre engine, faced with a large number of technical problems, and Ayrat Mardeev lost a few hours in the dunes.
So in the end, the leaders remained only the current winner Eduard Nikolaev. Up to the tenth stage crew for #500 it was pretty good, but the damage to the front of the gearbox on the 10th stage and damage to the gimbal on the 11th resulted in the loss of almost 50 minutes. Burst forward Federico Villagra on Iveco, but for two stages before the finish of Nikolaev again took the initiative.
Given that the Argentine and the Russians were separated by only a second, the completion of the rally-marathon in the category of trucks promised to be incredibly interesting. But decided the outcome of the confrontation of KAMAZ and Iveco much before the finish in Cordoba. Violation of the rules of the refueling team Villagra and the subsequent gathering of Argentinian left Nikolaev without competitors. At the start of the final stage of the Eduard came out almost four-hour gap, which could lose over 120 kilometers only in case of terrible bad luck. The special stage went well, and, finishing fourth, the Russian rider has secured his crew’s third victory in the “Dakar” after the success of last year and 2013.
The list of winners of the “KAMAZ-Master” Eduard Nikolaev came in second place, ahead of Firdaus Kabirov (winning in 2005 and 2009) and is second now only to seven-time winner Vladimir Chagin. In the entire history of the “Dakar” Nikolaev became the third driver in the truck category, winning more than twice. Except for him and Chagin it was only Karel Loprais, who excelled in the class heavyweights six times.
Actually, “Dakar-2018” was historic, as the closest pursuer of “KAMAZ” finished “MAZ”. The Belarusian team led by Sergei Vyazovich for the first time in six years of performances at the “Dakar” finished on the podium, and immediately on the second place. The success of athletes from the former Soviet Union had reinforced became the third Ayrat Mardeev and winner of the fourth Kazakhstani Artur Ardavichus on the truck Iveco team Astana Motorsport.
The results are being prepared
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