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MAZ-SPORTauto team left for the 40th rally-race "Dakar", which will be held from 6 to 20 January 2018 in South America. Belarusians on the race will perform with  three sport trucks and will fight for the pedestal. Racers flew from Minsk to Amsterdam, after which they were expected a long transatlantic flight. In South America, the team will have about a week to acclimatize, prepare for the rally and check the equipment. Sports trucks are already waiting for the crews in the port. The race starts on January 6 in Lima and thus for the first time for the last five years will return to Peru.

The team plans to win prizes at Dakar. "All three crews are able to fight for getting into the TOP-10. At "Dakar" we are determined to get involved into the struggle for the podium. We have everything  for achieving this - the drivers and equipment are ready for testing, "- said the team leader Sergei Viazovich.

About 30 employees of Minsk Automobile Plant went to Dakar, including drivers, co-drivers and mechanics. The crews remained the same. The team leader Sergey Viazovich will go along with the co-driver Pavel Haranin and the mechanic Andrei Zhigulin. The second truck will be led by  Alexander Vasilevsky, with the co-driver  Dmitry Vikhrenko and the mechanic Anton Zaporoschenko. In the third crew will be Alexei Vishnevsky,  the co-driver Maxim Novikov and the mechanic is Andrei Neverovich.

As part of the route will be held at an altitude of over 5 thousand meters above a sea level, the racers were preparing in Minsk in the pressure boxes to the conditions of the highlands.

"Dakar-2018" will be one of the most difficult rally-raids for the recent years. The length of high-speed sections will make a record of 4 thousand km. The rally-race will pass through the territory of three countries - Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. The race ends on January 20 in Cordoba, Argentina.

Belarusians have to compete with all the famous teams. In particular, KAMAZ will exhibit four crews for the race. The team of Petronas Iveco will also participate in the race, although Gerard de Roy himself preferred the rally Africa Eco Race, which also will be held in January. Among the competitors will also be MAN, Tatra and Renault.

The Belarusians participate for the seventh time in the marathon "Dakar". The last race was the most successful in the history of the team. The crew of Alexander Vasilevsky took the 6th place, and all three crews managed to reach the finish line safely.