We continue keeping an eye on the participation of a sports team of the Minsk Automobile Plant “MAZ-SPORTavto” in the prestigious international sporting event — the rally-raid Dakar-2012.
This year the most famous all over the world rally-raid route goes through 3 countries of the South American continent: Argentina (starting + five stages), Chile (5 stages), Peru (5 stages + finish). Since January 1 till the 15-th the participants will pass nearly 8500 kilometers under difficult conditions of deserts and mountains. 170 off-road vehicles, 185 motorcycles, 76 trucks and 33 quadrocycles take part in the rally.
This is the third rally-raid of international level for “MAZ-SPORTavto” team: our sportsmen competed with the best riders (in “Trucks ” category) in the rally-raid “Silk Road. Dakar Series” 2 years on end (2010 and 2011). In 2011 the factory team won first place at the neohomologated car category.
Design improvements contribute largely to the success of the guys. Through these improvements combat MAZ equipment has become complying with international standards of homologation. Substantially improved engines of Yaroslavl and Minsk motor plant do not let down in a battle. Mechanics pay considerably less attention and effort to repair of suspension and shock-absorbers.
January 1, 2012 two Belorussian crews art. № 541 and art. № 545 took to the start of the marathon rally “Dakar” on the shores of Mar del Plata seaside resort (Argentina). On the first day serious intention of the guys to get to the finish had been already obvious.
Day by day two combat crews were overcoming the most difficult special stages and long liaisons. As a result of five days “MAZ-SPORTavto” team had strengthened its position in the overall race, finishing 42nd (545 crew Wasilewski / Zaporoschenko / Kozlowski) and 50th (541 crew Polishchuk / Garanin / Zaporoschenko) of 63, survived to the finish.
The 6th stage of the race was canceled by organizers for severe weather conditions.
Unfortunately, the next step for the crew № 541 “MAZ-SPORTavto” was irresistible. A little before reaching the finish line of the seventh special stage the machine run by Belorussian team pilot Alexander Polishchuk had turned over. To help riders came second Belorussian crew car. In fact, it took almost a day of combined efforts to put a combat machine on wheels. But, alas, Belorussian crew car № 541 wouldn’t be able to continue the race because of problems with safety cage. They remain involved in the “Dakar”, but as machines for technical support.
The seventh day route of “Dakar-2012” race (Copiapo-Copiapo ring of total length 419 km) was the most difficult challenge for the riders over the past week. For many starters from Copiapo the dunes of Atacama Desert turned up as an insuperable obstacle. On the protocol of the seventh stage were put only 23 of reached the finish crew trucks out of 71 launched.
Meanwhile another crew of “MAZ-SPORTavto” run by Alexander Vasilevsky continued the struggle in the truck championship.
Up to last stages they improved their position and took 36th place overall. At the start of the 8th stage of “Dakar” rally-raid came out today 68 trucks.
Good luck to our guys!