Late in the evening on January 20 the team of the Minsk Automobile Plant “MAZ-SPORTavto” returned from most difficult race on “Dakar 2012” planet.
Grand welcome of our guys was organized by the Minsk Automobile Plant with the trade union committee. Everybody wishing to meet the team at the airport personally was able to get there by bus MAZ departing from the building of the plant.
Nearly a month the guys were on another continent. And now after the ordeal and long flight they were welcomed by family, friends and numerous motor sports fans.
This event was not left without media attention. And it was deservedly so. For the first time the Belarusian team trucks took part in prestigious race famous all over the world. We not only reached the finish line, but also showed an excellent result for the newcomers – 31st place overall in the category “Trucks”. It was a great joy and pride of the whole country.
Team members shared their experiences.
Valery Kozlovsky (novigator and team manager): “I think we showed a good result. This is kind of victory for us. We have gained experience, improved our tactical and technical competence. Now after certain adjustments in a year or a half, I hope we can compete for prizes. We will press towards this. After participation in the Dakar we have concluded, not only we but also our potential rivals that MAZ vehicles can not only finish the race but finish effectively. I think the 31st place is very good, it is the victory for all of us who wanted to get to this rally-raid. ”
Alexander Vasilevsky (pilot): “The race was very difficult. “Dakar” can not be compared with any race we have taken part in. We have worked from 6 am till 12 am, drove 800-900 kilometers per day. The car has not disappointed us. We had minor damages, but at this route it can not be in any other way. Frankly speaking in some moments it was really scary to “jump” on almost vertical dunes of the half a km height. I think we could compete for a higher place, but did not have enough experience. To make next year more successful we should also bring to mind the car and certainly more training. ”
The team won’t have a long rest. As soon as the cars arrive, the repair and modification will be began. It is also necessary to train a lot to come in good shape for the new start.