MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. Race trucks of the Kamaz-Master team have successfully passed a technical check before the Dakar rally, press service of the Russian team told TASS.
The team will traditionally participate in the rally raid with four race trucks to be driven by Eduard Nikolaev, Dmitry Sotnikov, Andrei Karginov and Anton Shibalov. Under the prescribed rules, all the vehicles must undergo technical inspection for compliance with regulated norms prior to the start.
"Technical inspections were normal for us; the second phase of inspections has been held today," Nikolaev said. "The first one took place as early as before dispatching vehicles to France. Inspections of smaller format were this time - examination of gear, safety belts and sealing of suspension travel limit belts. Kamaz vehicles passed them in full without any comments. Everything is good; we are ready for the start.
The Dakar rally will be staged for the first time in Saudi Arabia. Over 350 crews will participate, broken down into five classes of motorcycles, quadrunners, buggies, automobiles and trucks. Participants will have to cover 7.900 km within 12 days from January 5 to 17, including 5,000 km in the racing mode.
"This is a new country for us; it is certainly interesting: new territory, new relief," Nikolaev said. "Nevertheless, we are here to compete. We have serious competitors this year. Therefore, it will be challenging but the team and the vehicles are ready," he added.
The Dakar Rally raid was first held in 1978 across the territory of Africa, which served as the venue for the race until 2009, when it was decided to relocate it to another region due to a terrorism threat. The rally was moved in 2009 to South America, where it has been held annually until this year.
The 2019 Dakar Rally consisted of 10 stages and was held in Peru between January 6 and 17.
Russian racers won the Dakar Rally 16 times in the trucks category and once in the quads category.