Kamaz dominates Dakar with 17th victory
The winning team at the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia – the Kamaz-master crew no. 511 with driver Andrey Karginov, co-driver Andrey Mokeev, and mechanic Igor Lenov – finished the 7500 km race in 46h 33' 36''
The Kamaz-master race team won the gold and silver medals at the 2020 Dakar Rally, the 42nd edition of the race and the first to be held in Saudi Arabia. The race which started in Jeddah on 5 January and finished in Qiddiya on 17 January involved 12 stages of competition across 7,500 km, including 5,000 km of special stages, five of them longer than 450 km.
With 17 wins the Kamaz-master holds the greatest number of wins in Dakar. Over the years, the team build up an incredible amount of technical know-how. Although the environment was entirely new to them, the crews mastered the performance of the Kamaz trucks in each of the stages.
Initially, the distance of the twelfth and final special stage was 374 km, almost 50% of which was laid through dunes and sands; a third of the route was gravel and stony sections, the rest was an asphalt road. But, due to construction works at the oil facility near the sports track, the rally organizers decided to reduce it to 167 km. Out of 342 vehicles that started the rally in Jeddah, 234 (68.4%) vehicles including 96 motorbikes, 12 quads, 57 cars, 29 SSVs and 40 trucks made it to the finish line in Qiddiya.
Managing full throttle up to 140km per hour on the straights, including some spectacular jumps in the desert and tempering speed on risky tracks, the winning team – the Kamaz-master crew no. 511 with driver Andrey Karginov, co-driver Andrey Mokeev, and mechanic Igor Lenov – finished the 7500 km race in 46h 33' 36''. Andrey Karginov, who was champion previously in 2014, claimed his second Dakar crown with a 42-minute margin over teammate Anton Shibalov, who led the Kamaz-master crew no. 516 along with co-driver Dmitrii Nikitin and mechanic Ivan Tatarinov.
Coming from three consecutive victories, Eduard Nikolayev who led the Kamaz-master team to victory in 2019, looked every bit the big favourite to win the rally. However, the defending champion was off the pace from the beginning and ended up withdrawing due to serious mechanical troubles with his Kamaz truck. The Maz-Sportauto team comprising driver Siarhei Viazovich, Pavel Haranin and Anton Zaparoshchanka won the third place.
Andrey Karginov, said: “In two weeks we covered difficult thousands of kilometers with the toughest off-road routes. It was important for us to confirm the first position of Kamaz-master in the truck category of the Dakar and show the advantage of the Russian vehicles in the new region for the rally-marathon. I am glad that our team became first again and delighted fans in Russia and around the world."
All truck teams were required to compete with standard tyres developed for normal daily operations and available in the market. The drivers had to carefully manage the tyre pressure to get a good balance between grip/traction, speed and durability. The Kamaz-master teams competed with Goodyear Offroad ORD tyres which are normally used to maximize uptime in tough off-road operations such as mines and quarries. Their tread pattern with massive blocks along with the optimized compound provides high resistance to tearing and cutting.
Maciej Szymanski, director of marketing Europe, commercial business unit, Goodyear, said: “We are extremely proud that once again the victorious Kamaz-master team could count on exceptional qualities of our standard products proven in probably the toughest race in the world. This reconfirms very strong track record of Goodyear Offroad ORD tyres in durability, traction on rocky and sandy terrain and in very challenging circumstances at hi-speed.”