MAZ conquers Dakar
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.