Kamaz retains gold at Dakar Rally 2019
Eduard Nikolaev led the Kamaz-master race team to win his third consecutive title and fourth overall as the team leader
The 2019 edition of the annual Dakar Rally was held exclusively in Peru this year from 7–17 January. The 5,000-km race which started and ended in Lima was covered in 10 stages and featured 334 vehicles in five categories - motorcycles, cars, quads, side by side vehicles and trucks. The Truck category had 41 participants from all over the world representing brands such as Kamaz, Iveco, Tatra, Maz, Liaz, Renault, Hino, MAN, and DAF.
The Kamaz-master race team headed by driver Eduard Nikolaev won the gold, again. This was Eduard’s third consecutive title and fourth overall as the team leader. For Kamaz Trucks, this was the 16th victory at the Dakar Rally. The Kamaz-master team participated with four redesigned race trucks with 13-litre engines.
“It was a very difficult race. There were a lot of dunes, a lot of sand and very strong competitors like Gerard de Rooy and Federico Villagra. There were no big problems apart from when we got stuck in the dunes, but our truck is a very good truck. My co-pilot coped with the task perfectly,” said Nikolaev.
Another Russian crew headed by Dmitry Sotnikov won the silver title. Two more Kamaz crews led by Andrey Karginov and Airat Mardeev were less successful than their teammates. Andrey Karginov was withdrawn from the race after the 5th stage of the rally when his truck hit a spectator standing on the race track. Airat Mardeev abandoned the competition due to technical problems. Overall, the Kamaz teams dominated 6 out of the 10 stages.
Russian president Vladimir Putin while congratulating the Kamaz-master team, commented: “Our truck crews are traditionally recognized leaders of this prestigious and prestigious rally. A well-deserved championship was the result of intense and well-coordinated work of the whole Kama-master team - navigators, pilots, technicians, and support of numerous fans. Such competitions enable the testing of advanced technologies under challenging conditions that will later be introduced in the mass production of Kamaz trucks, which will help strengthen the position of the Russian automotive industry in global markets.”
The bronze was won by the Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco team headed by Gerard De Rooy. The team participated with with four Iveco Powerstar trucks. De Rooy competed behind the wheel of the fixed-axle Iveco Powerstar that took him to victory in the Africa Eco Race 2018. His vehicle and the team’s other three Powerstars featured Iveco Cursor 13 engines with up to 1000hp of power specially engineered by FPT Industrial.
De Rooy was a favourite this year to challenge Eduard’s dominance for the past few years. Although that didn’t happen, Iveco was the only team which completed the race as one, with all four trucks reaching the finish line. De Rooy lost the opportunity to lead in the first week of the rally, particularly in stage 3. On that day he got stuck on top of a dune and broke the steering wheel, which caused a delay of an hour and a half.
“If you see what has happened in ten days of competition, up to and including the last day, then we certainly can’t complain. With the fact that we are also the only team at the finish as one, with all four trucks and all four in the top 10, I can only be very satisfied,” said De Rooy.