MAZ conquers Dakar

In Peru’s capital — Lima — the famed rally has finished. This year, the annual adventurous rally starred Belarusian MAZ trucks for the first time. Moreover, one even managed to finish 31st out of 60 cars.

By Dmitry Komarov

Actually, Dakar-2012 saw scandal, with Eduard Nikolaev — of the much celebrated KAMAZ-Master team — disqualified for cheating (after claiming that he needed to give help off-road when, in fact, he spent the time changing a wheel). Meanwhile, his colleague Artur Ardavicus accused rally winner Iveco’s Gerard de Rooy of breaking technical regulations.

MAZ experienced only one accident, when crew number 541 (Polishchuk/Garanin/Zaporoshchenko) flipped over while crossing a sand dune. They reached the finish line only as a support truck. The second Belarusian crew (number 545) — headed by experienced Alexander Vasilevsky — demonstrated brilliant driving skills, using a regular MAZ truck only slightly modernised for the rally (due to financial constraints). He reached the finish line, which is an achievement in itself — since only 60 out of 74 trucks participating did cross the final line. Impressively, our MAZ came 31st, 36 hours behind the leader. Next year, Belarusians promise to pose a more serious threat to KAMAZ and Tatra.

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