Alexander Vasilevskiy’s crew began the race at the 12th position, while the fast technical truck of Vladimir Vasilevskiy started at the 40th position.
On the first day the racers had to overcome 600 km between two Argentinean cities – Rosario and Villa Carlos Paz, but due to the poor weather conditions the special area in 258 km including speedy areas and rough routes in a sloping area was turned down.
There are 55 crews in trucks category. Earlier MAZ trucks had taken part in a traditional podium, after which they had to go for a Prolog – small spectacular route that would define crews’ start positions. But this stage was cancelled due to the tragic incident – the Chinese racer rushed the spectators crowd at her Mini Cooper. 10 people suffered, three of them are in hospital in a bad condition. Thus sport trucks began the rally-raid according to the board numbers. The Russian crew under Airat Mardeev’s piloting was the first one (the truck is under 500 board number).
Belarus is presented by three sport trucks - two main crews and one “fast technical truck” to assist during the race. The crew no. 507 consists of Sergey Vyazovich, Pavel Garanin and Andrey Zhigulin. The 512th truck crew is presented by Alexander Vasilevski, Valery Kozlowski and Anton Zaporoschenko, while the 541st “fast technical truck” is presented by Vladimir Vasilevski, Dmitrij Vihrenko and Aleksey Neverovich. The aim of the team is to be among leading crews, while the minimum task is to overcome the whole route and be among the top-10. The sport trucks have been tuned before Dakar start: the suspension, fuel tanks, transmission and steering control were improved. Besides, a new technical truck that functions as a “fast technical truck” was assembled. This sport truck is 300 kg lighter now and is equipped with 930 h.p. engine and a torsion torque equals to 4200 N-m.