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All the secrets of the Russian truck army that crushes in the Dakar Rally

The four trucks and crews that run the 2022 Dakar Rally. Behind the King Abdullah Stadium in Jeddah (Kamaz Press)
The four trucks and crews that run the 2022 Dakar Rally. Behind the King Abdullah Stadium in Jeddah (Kamaz Press)

They occupy one of the largest sectors in each camp in the Dakar rally 2022 that is disputed in Saudi Arabia. It’s about the Russian team Kamaz that with his trucks dominates the toughest race in the world. It looks like a military barracks where its soldiers dressed in blue work and take care of all the details. Infobae He was authorized to enter and get to know the team that is a reference with its colossi in depth.

The team is based in Náberezhnye Chelný which is the second largest city in the Republic of Tatarstan. It was formed in 1988, but its first intervention in the mythical competition was in 1990, in the midst of the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. In 1996 came the first of his 18 triumphs, 17 of them achieved since 2000. The last five consecutively and they caress the sixth since in the general classification of this edition they march with a 1-2-3.

Two or three mechanics work on each suspension or other element. They look serious and suspicious, but they are very polite. In the video you can see the immense 12.98-liter in-line six-cylinder turbo diesel engine. The impeller connects with a manual and automatic gearbox. Its maximum speed is 165 km / h, limited to 130 km / h by regulations. Apart from the heart of the Russian giants you can also see other parts that are always hidden when the Kamaz are in action, beasts of 8,600 kilograms, 6.6 meters long, 3.3 meters high and 2.55 meters wide. They are surrounded by their “cousins”, who are the assistance trucks, who are key to achieving glory. The tasks do not stop at the vehicles that look immaculate despite the typical dust and sand of this land.

Report on the Russian Kamaz truck team taking the Dakar Rally by storm.

To go in depth with the Russian team this medium spoke with Erik khayullin, a member of the team’s press area, who provided details and also allowed filming and photographing the work of some 60 people in the Dakar Rally, but that in the team headquarters there are 160 in total.

On why it is the winning team, he said: “For different reasons, first of all, the discipline. Second, we have good technologies Y good trucks. We also have experienced crews that they are good at racing, that they know how to race hard. It is a whole set. And we also love our native country. We try to warn that it is very important to be focused on the goal, to be focused on achieving a podium. Team spirit is very important. And these factors are the reason why we are good at the Dakar Rally for many years. “

It also clarifies where your budget comes from: “It is from private sponsors and there is no government support. But we have good partners (sponsors). And we also have the help of our factory that produces the trucks ”.

They do karting races on ice so that the little ones acquire sensitivity (Kamaz Press)
They do karting races on ice so that the little ones acquire sensitivity (Kamaz Press)

Although it is a private project, he affirms that “people like it because we are the national truck team in the Dakar Rally”. Although he clarifies: “But, of course, we are not a state team, but we have the support of all Russian fans. And we are very famous in Russia. We have a lot of fans and we have won 18 times ”, he says.

Kamaz is characterized by having a “school” in which various generations of pilots emerged from behind a benchmark who also won. Known as the “Czar”, Vladimir Chagin He was the first great exponent of Kamaz and in 2000 he started his winning streak. Contemporary hers was Firdaus Kabirov. They both won in Africa and also when the race came to South America. There, soon after, the young Eduard Nikolaev, Ayrat Mardeev and Andrey Karginov they also celebrated. Your last hero is Dmitry Sotnikov, who is the youngest at 36 years, leads the general classification and seeks to repeat his victory of 2021.

Erik reveals how they work with different generations: “The older ones talk a lot with the younger ones and try to correct mistakes. For example, Eduard Nikolaev trained with Vladimir Chagin and learned a lot. He’s a great student, he’s trying to repeat his record of seven Dakar Rally victories and he’s close to it. He already had four wins. The younger ones try to be on the same level as the teacher of the old school (Chagin), who is now the director of the team ”.

The Kamaz are all terrain and since 2000 they dominate the Dakar Rally (Kamaz Press)
The Kamaz are all terrain and since 2000 they dominate the Dakar Rally (Kamaz Press)

In addition, he gave details of the team’s school: “First we are a large family and we started working with the drivers as children with karting races (N. of the R: they compete on asphalt and on ice, which allows them to gain sensitivity). We organize different competitions. We invite you to participate and we hope that later you will want to join in and do it all the way. We work with about 100 children and we only have children who live in our hometown, It is not very big, it has half a million inhabitants. Our young people can drive from the age of 16 and that is why we train them from a very young age ”.

For this year they released two models 435091 of line K5 which are led by Sotnikov and Nikolaev. While the two 43509 from 2021, revised again, are in charge of Anton Shibalov and Karginov himself.

“I think that every truck, for example Tatra or Iveco (their main rivals), has the same power (as Kamaz), around 1,000 horses. But we need not only to have power, also we need to be reliable because the truck runs for twelve days and it is very important for the truck to be ready and perform at its best in the morning and later on the stage. We need a very reliable engine, the gearbox, the transmission. Also an assistance team that is working all night in preparation for the next day. It is a complex set that allows this success, “he says.

How did they react in defeat? “We know that if we lose, our viewers, our fans, our partners, our plant workers will not be happy with our performance. And that is why we must do everything possible to bring victory to Russia. But of course this is a sport and we are not lucky enough to win in all the years. There are a lot of different reasons and there are several of us who work under the truck. We use feedback to report our mistakes and improve the truck for next year and be aware of all the details. If we were not reliable in something, we corrected it and prepared ourselves better not to lose in the next Dakar Rally ”.

Not even the sandstorm stops the Kamaz.  The Russians have won the Dakar Rally 18 times and the last five in a row.  Another triumph is a fact (Twitter @dakar)
Not even the sandstorm stops the Kamaz. The Russians have won the Dakar Rally 18 times and the last five in a row. Another triumph is a fact (Twitter @dakar)

He also keeps a good memory of Argentina: “It marked me the warm hospitality of the Argentines. I remember the beautiful territories of Argentina, of the large number of people who went to the streets and met the platoon of vehicles. It was crazy and we can’t forget this. The starts and arrivals in Buenos Aires full of people, its color with places like La Boca. We have pictures with images of trucks in Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires and La Pampa, for example ”.

And he sent a pleasant message: “We love your country very much. For me, it’s a dream to go back there, for example, with or without a career. We wish the families of Argentina and all its people that they can overcome all this problem with COVID-19. When I see something about Argentina on television, I think of its country with very warm memories ”.

1-2-3 for the Russians in the 2009 Argentina-Chile Dakar Rally.  In the image the podium that was set up in the La Rural de Palermo property (Kamaz Press)
1-2-3 for the Russians in the 2009 Argentina-Chile Dakar Rally. In the image the podium that was set up in the La Rural de Palermo property (Kamaz Press)

But the action does not end with the Dakar Rally since during the year they participate in the World Rally Raid Championship of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), which since 2022 has incorporated the legendary race into its calendar, which for the third year in a row took place. performed in Saudi Arabia. In that contest they are also the reference.

In this edition of the Dakar Rally, Kamaz won the nine stages contested and leads in the general classification a resounding 1-2-3 with Sotnikov, Nikolaev and Shibalov. Three stages from the end, the Russians are close to another victory, but they are not resting on their laurels since once they are back in their country they will begin to prepare the 2023 edition to continue crushing.

GALLERY OF HOW KAMAZ WORKS

The impressive 12-liter engine and 1,000 horsepower
The impressive 12-liter engine and 1,000 horsepower

KEEP READING

“The camels woke me up”: the incredible story of the Argentine who spent the night in the desert at the Dakar Rally
Argentine Pablo Copetti won with a flat tire on ATVs and puts pressure on the Dakar Rally

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TAMMY SEWELL

Tammy Sewell is our Writer and Social at OICanadian.com. Tammy loves sports, she writes our celebrities news. She spends time browsing through several celebs news sources as well the Instagram. Email: Tammy@oicanadian.com Phone: +1 513-209-1700

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