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Home News 2018 1 MAZ IN TOP-THREE AT DAKAR-2018



Belarusian crews with variable success completed the fourth stage of the anniversary rally-race"Dakar". Alexei Vishnevsky’s MAZ lost a few hours on the track, but the crew of Sergei Vyazovich was able to accelerate after replacing the inflatable pipe and gain a foothold in the top three in the "absolute.

South-American "DAKAR" continues to surprise fans with the difficulties faced by participants in this jubilee marathon.

In the standings of trucks there is a real battle and everyone tries to "survive", having reached the finish line. Of the 42 trucks that started in Lima, only 20 trucks  will go to the start of the fifth stage - more than half of the participants have left the race, many of the remaining ones have a penalty time.

On the first day, everyone was surprised with the difficulties of the "warm-up" stage, but the next day brought losses more significantly and the level of complexity only increased, so that yesterday nobody could remember the "florets" of the first stage. Every day the classification "gets upside down" and it is impossible to predict the outcome of each day, so unpredictable are the sands of Peru.

On January 9, the organizers of "DAKAR" returned to the race the tradition of mass start - a spectacular sight for the audience and a rejoicing for the television crews. Simultaneous start at once several dozen motor-participants, several lines from off-road cars and pair start at trucks.

 The start of the trucks caused a surge of adrenaline both among the spectators and the participants. The first eight kilometers of the special stage were laid along the beach, and then the track led to the fesh -fesh, and here it was worth fighting - whoever first reaches the fesh-fesh will have an advantage in speed.

 "MAZ-SPORTauto" team after yesterday's difficult day and night, when the mechanics had to restore the Sergei Vyazovich’s  truck quickly, started in the top ten.

 Sergei Vyazovich: "Today the stage started for us from the pair start - we went to the special stage with Alexei Vishnevsky and then I had a stop at 35 minutes on the first kilometer. I switched on the eighth gear and I had a burst of a pressurized pipe. During his replacement, they saw that the second one was already tearing and had to change both. Access to this repair area is not very good and I had to lift the cabin. It all took time ... We were assisted by the crew of Alexander  Vasilevsky, his mechanic helped to make repairs, so that it would be faster. Next, we already went "slowly to catch up" - carefully, to pass the zone in the stones without puncturing. "

 Promised 100 kilometers of sands were very difficult - MAZ many times  handed back and had to catch up with many trucks.

 The stumbling block for all was one of the points on the final third of the route of the day - on the road-book it had to be taken at the top of the dune, but in fact it was lower and on flat terrain.

 Sergei Vyazovich: "A difficult day - I was in a hurry to overtake someone, they did not climb the dune, we" stuck "and had to go down too. We reached the point that everyone was looking for. We climbed to the same place where Dima Sotnikov (KAMAZ-master) was lying, Anton Shibalov was standing there and "KAMAZ " men  told us that it's better not to climb here and it's better to go down or miss the point. We were already standing on the track and were thinking of leaving with a fine, we drove about five hundred meters along an even plateau ... and the point came! We spent so much time, and the point was in the right place. "

 Alexei Vishnevsky struck a tray in the riverbed - quite a serious damage, torn even the welding seam. The Vyazovych’s crew gave him his oil and tools. Alexander Vasilevsky, who was followingg behind also gave the teammate his oil supply. Despite the fact that the crews are riding on different engines, Vasilevsky continues to pilot MAZ with the Tutaev engine, the oil is the same for everybody - G-Energy 10w-60.

 Alexei had to fix truck and have time to enter the sandy part of the stage before darkness, otherwise the organizers would prohibit the passage and lead to the finish, passing the sands, but with decent penalization. However, in time to complete the repair did not work and had to miss 12 control points, going around the road.

However, on the bivouac, all the talk is about the unusual level of complexity of the jubilee "DAKAR" and the number of gatherings. Previous editions of the race were much calmer: if during the marathon from the top ten at least one truck "went to the roof" - it was an event and a sensation. Now, that day, no one is surprised and every stage a few trucks turn over in the sands.

 Sergei Vyazovich: "Opening the prologue, we had a great day, the third day, which" ripped to shreds "the whole of the field. Despite how it seems to spectators, for big handicaps, seeing what is happening on the road from the cabin, believe me - no pilot will give any guarantees whether he will finish tomorrow at all. Because all the top pilots caught the "roofs": Mardeev, Sotnikov, Genugten, Lopraish, and I do not even mention the guys from the top ten - they all are rolling off. While the most record time of recovery from the situation of the coup is ours. All the others lose a lot of minutes, we were lucky.

Only today, we were on the verge of a coup at least five times, since the sands were so soft and there was no catch.

Usually, when the truck has speed, it is able to go to any slope, here it is not controlled, the steering wheel - as if it does not exist. Neither pressure nor blockages help - we walked with free interaxle and with a blocked center. The inertia of the truck on this soft sand drags it to any place, the track lies between the funnels, "spoons". We are launched after off-road vehicles, but they cannot take the dunes on the run, interfere with each other, the track is excavated. When you go not the first truck, usually the track is visible, here, on the "Dakar-2018" there is no track - as if the anthill fled in different directions. We go to the next point and the only thought  of the co-pilot  is whether we are on the course, since there are too much  traces. It can be seen that experienced experts, sand specialists, have passed before us, but all traces of trucks in different directions. You drive unpleasant thoughts, as now and then you see standing or lying on the side of rivals. The last 100 kilometers of distance in the sands were the most difficult. Not only that the dunes are all with slopes, they are also strewn with "traps" - funnels, sandy cliffs. The truck tightens there. Usually you have fallen over the crest, saw such a "trap" and along the edge you pass it. Here it does not roll - you roll down, pour down, it's soft and impossible. They remembered all the tricks of riding in the sand. Today, the "trap" was another type: I always teach not to sit on the "tail" of anyone, but overtook the "Scania", and he stood on the crest of the dune. I had to take it back, and I saw an SUV in the rear view camera. Ahead is the truck, behind is Toyota. For 10 minutes, they asked the driver to move the car, as our truck was not moving. A bunch of motorcyclists and  quads continued to rush when the trucks were already on the track - they obviously had not an easy day, since they still did not leave the stage. They are already irresponsible, they are traveling in small groups, they can not bypass them, because after hearing the "sentinel" of the truck, they are thrown in all directions. With the adventures that we had today, the third place in the general classification was expensive for the team. Although, I believe that "Dakar" should be just this - it's not just a race, it's a test for a person, for technology. "

 Despite the difficulties, the team "MAZ-SPORTauto" got out of the sandy captivity and reached the finish line: Sergei Vyazovich in the ninth position, Alexander Vasilevsky - on the 15th, Alexei Vishnevsky on the 18th.

On January 10, the fifth stage of the race starts, where motorcycles and ATVs will take their route, separately from cars and trucks. As organizers promise, the race will begin at dawn and on the way to the bivouac the participants are waited byr the dunes of Tanaka, and the road to Arequipa will be long for everyone.

 In the general classification, the third place in the truck category is taken by Sergei Vyazovich who replaced Vishnevsky with a two-hour 22 minutes delay from the leader. Alexei Vishnevsky moved to 13 place, and Alexander Vasilevsky is  at 15 position. Dakar continues!


Video from this stage is here