"MAZ-SPORTauto" racers completed the eighth special stage of the rally-raid "Dakar-2018", losing to the main competitors in time. In the overall standings, the leader of "MAZ-SPORT-Auto" team Sergey Vyazovich lost third place, but stayed in the four of the strongest crews. By the way, during the race the Belarusian truck was helped by Anton Shibalov from KamazMaster.
The eighth stage, like the previous one, was held in a mountainous area. Truck crews crossed 381 km on a serpentine road and wet roads with rocks and sands. The difficulty was created by the fact that the rally-stage was part of the marathon stage, and, consequently, the mechanic team had no opportunity to check and repair the trucks before the start.
The marathon stage was terrible for the team. On the first day, the crews of Alexei Vishnevsky and Alexander Vasilevsky ran into problems. One of them broke down the compressor, the second one got into the rut in 90 km before the finish seriously damaging the truck. At the eighth stage Sergei Vyazovich's MAZ stuck in the riverbed into the mud. It was not possible to get out on its own, the truck was tried to pull out by the crew of Arthur Ardavichus, but it did not work either. As a result Anton Shibalov came to the rescue on KAMAZ, and it took 15-20 minutes, for which the team is very grateful to him. Sergei Vyazovich went to catch up the lost time, but after 100 km the power-steering cooler burst, after which the oil began to leak. Moreover, 9 km before the finish, the front left-hand wheel exploded near the truck. The pilot made the wrong decision to go without replacing the "rubber", which led to damage to the air hoses and, ultimately, stopping for repairs.
As a result, Sergey Vyazovich passed the eighth stage in the 14th place, breaking the high-speed section in 5 hours 42 minutes. The winner of the stage was Dmitry Sotnikov on KamAZ, to which the Belarusians lost 1 hour 19 minutes. In the general classification the MAZ crew sank from third to fourth and now lags behind the leader of the race, the Russian Eduard Nikolayev, for almost 4 hours.
Alexei Vishnevsky finished on the 13th line, spending 5 hours 25 minutes on the track and losing to the winner for more than an hour. In general classification, the crew is on the 17th place and "lucky" for more than 36 hours.
Uneasy was the arrival for Alexander Vasilevsky's MAZ as well. He showed the 22-th time. On the route it took about 7 hours, and the backlog was 2 hours and 35 minutes. In the overall standings the crew stays on the 15th line and loses to the leader of the marathon about 19 hours.
The ninth stage was intended to be passed between the Bolivian Tupiza and the Argentinian Salta. However, due to heavy flows, the organizers canceled the rally-arrival. Thus, the race will continue from the tenth special stage, the duration of which will be 373 km. It will lead the riders to the Argentinian city Belen.