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Sotnikov’s crew of Russian Kamaz-Master Team wins 2022 Dakar Rally in trucks category

For the first time in the history of Dakar Rally racing, Russia’s Team Kamaz-Master won every stage of the prestigious world rally, which has been held annually since 1978
Kamaz-Master Team crew of Dmitry Sotnikov EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT
Kamaz-Master Team crew of Dmitry Sotnikov
© EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Dmitry Sotnikov’s crew from Russia’s Kamaz-Master Team won the 2022 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia in the trucks category after winning Stage 12, the final round of the legendary rally race, on Friday.

The 44th Dakar Rally was held across the territory of Saudi Arabia between January 2 and 14, 2022 and consisted of 12 stages.

Defending Champion Sotnikov and his crew of Ruslan Akhmadeyev and Ilgiz Akhmetzyanov clocked the 164-kilometer stretch of the final stage in 1 hour 42 minutes and 41 seconds.

The squad from Big Shock Racing Team, led by Martin Macik (jointly with Frantisek Tomasek and David Svanda) of the Czech Republic, finished Stage 12 in 2nd place only 32 seconds behind the winners.

Team Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing, led by Chile’s Ignacio Casale, finished the final stretch of the rally in Saudi Arabia in 3rd place clocking 1 hour 43 minutes 42 seconds.

For the first time in the history of Dakar Rally racing, Russia’s Team Kamaz-Master won every stage of the prestigious world rally, which has been held annually since 1978.

Four squads of Russia’s Kamaz-Master-Team finished in top four places of the 2022 Dakar Rally and the Russian team enjoyed the victory for the 18th time in a row at the annual rally race. Sotnikov crew’s overall time after 12 stages amounted to 48 hours 23 minutes and 21 seconds.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko told TASS that Sotnikov’s racing crew deserved to win the 2022 Dakar Rally.

"I want to congratulate Kamaz-Master Team with the victory at Dakar Rally," Chernyshenko, who oversees sports, culture and tourism in the Russian government, told TASS. "Russian racing teams are sweeping the podium [in the trucks category] for the second year in a row."

"Moreover, we have also raced to take the fourth position in the trucks category for the first time in 11 years and are also enjoying now a total of 19 championship’s titles in the history of the team," he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also congratulated the racing squad of Sotnikov with the victory at the 2022 Dakar Rally.

"Dear Dmitry, Ruslan and Ilgiz! I sincerely congratulate you with your triumphant win at the 2022 Dakar Rally in the trucks category," the Russian president said in a message posted on the Kremlin’s official website.

"It is gratifying that our great racers with their new equipment managed to prepare themselves perfectly for this endurance rally, accurately calculate their strength and display their outstanding athletic qualities," the statement reads.

"Of course, the coaches and all those who supported the team in this success deserve special gratitude. It is largely thanks to you that Russian teams took up the entire victory podium in this rally. Well-done," the congratulatory message from Putin added.

Sotnikov is 35 years old and he has been racing for Team Kamaz-Master since 2008. He finished 2nd in the overall standings of the Dakar Rally in 2017 and 2019 and became the champion of the event in 2021 and this year. He is also the winner of the 2013 and 2017 Silk Way Rally raids.

Since late 1990s, the Kamaz-Master Team dominated the truck category, winning a record number of 19 prestigious rally raids.