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A press conference with a sports team “MAZ-SPORTavto” and the direction of the plant took place at the Minsk Automobile Plant on March 6. During the press conference sportsmen shared their impressions of participating in the most important event of world motor racing rally-raid “Dakar-2012” and plans for the current year.

All questions of media representatives were responded by the first Deputy of General Director Anatoly Dedkov, the Deputy of General Director for Technical Development – a curator of a sports team Dmitry Korotkevich and the head of the team “MAZ-SPORTavto” Valery Kozlovsky.

     Let’s remind that the rally-raid “Dakar-2012” was launched on January 1, 2012 from Mar del Plata (the Argentine) and completed on January 15, 2012 in Lima the capital of Peru. Belarusian crew № 545 was one of those who had successfully overcome the most difficult marathon of duration of 14 days and length of 8300 km. The team of the Minsk Automobile Plant had completed the race at 31st position in the general classification standing “Trucks.”

     It is difficult to overestimate the merit of our guys. Debuting in the competition of this level our team could not only reach the finish line, but also show good results, what could do very few participants. The team who were watched and supported not only by the factory workers and fans of motor sports, but the entire country did not disappoint anybody. Hardiness, persistence and dedication of our sportsmen deserve the highest praise. We are proud of our guys also for the fact that in any difficult situation they were during passing the special stage, they were always ready to help other participants in trouble. Combat automobiles of the Belarusian team pulled out other participants of the rally getting stuck in the desert sands many times.

     The vehicles did not disappoint either. Step by step combat vehicles persistently moved forward overcoming complex exhausting special stages. The harsh conditions of passing a line in the sands of the desert and rocky mountain roads had become a serious challenge not only for people but for cars. After each stage the mechanics had to fix the technical problems that could not be avoided during passing the road. And each time repaired vehicles returned to the start, what once again proved the reliability of “the Minsk Automobile Plant” automotive engineering.

     During 2012 the team “MAZ-SPORTavto” plans to take part in following rally-raids:

     — “Gold of Kagan” (19-22 April 2012, the Astrakhan region., Russia),
     — “Simbirsk tract” (9-12 June 2012, the Ulyanovsk region., Russia),
     — “Silk Road. Dakar Series ”(7-14 July 2012, Moscow-Sochi, Russia).

     Participation in these competitions will be an excellent practice to Dakar in 2013.

     The participation of the factory racing team in the international rally-raid “Dakar-2012” was possible due to financial support from its partners.

     The Crew № 545: pilot Alexander Vasilevsky, navigator Valery Kozlovsky, mechanic Anton Zaporoschenko.
     The Crew № 541: pilot Alexander Polishchuk, navigator Pavel Garanin, mechanic Dmitry Zaporoschenko.