"MAZ-SPORTauto" team for the first time in history became the champion of the international rally-race. Sergey Vyazovich's MAZ was the first in the trucks class in Turkmen Desert Race, ahead of all the crews of KAMAZ-master team which the most titled team in the world.
The international marathon Turkmen Desert Race was held for the first time, collecting about 70 crews from around the world in the Karakum Desert. Most of the race was in off-road conditions: the riders had to overcome the steppes with quicksand sand and barkhans, marshes with sharp stones and dried up riverbeds. The rally turned out to be tense and exhausting, although it lacked a little in complexity to Dakar tests.
"Winning of the the international race is an important event for the team and Minsk Automobile Plant. We have shown that we are able to win the leaders of prestigious rally-raids. Previously, we were the first at separate stages, were among the winners, but we got the status of the champions for the first time. So at Dakar we will go among the favorites for the sole purpose - to get on the podium. And everyone understands that we are capable of this, "- said the head of MAZ-SPORTavto team " Sergei Vyazovich.
MAZ crew was among the leaders throughout the whole race. The Belarusians won the prologue, then the crews of "KAMAZ-master" were in the lead, and Sergey Vyazovich pulled ahead at the last stages. In addition, in the fourth stage, Airat Mardeev's crew failed to drive in allotted time and thus got 26 minutes of penalty time.
Sergey Vyazovich won at the last stage. Just 2 seconds lost to him Airat Mardeev. At third place was KAMAZ pilot Dmitry Sotnikov with a delay in 2 minutes. Aleksey Vishnevsky almost finished the race. But the crew of Alexander Vasilevsky had little trouble with the engine and because of that he finished the stage at the fifth place with a handicap in 64 minutes.
In the general classification, following the Belarusians are the Russian crews of Ayrat Mardeev and Dmitry Sotnikov, who have lagged behind the fastest MAZ for more than 20 minutes. The fourth place was occupied by Alexey Vishnevsky with a handicap in 49 minutes, and the fifth - by Alexander Vasilevsky who lost to the winner more than 2 hours.
The main struggle during the rally was between MAZ and KamAZ. "It was an exciting competition, in which no one had any advantages. All went in equal conditions along an unfamiliar path for all. So it was an honest victory, - said Sergey Vyazovich. - The last sites were high-speed, when it was necessary to drive quickly and not to lose the course. Tried to play time, and we did it. On the last day we drove calmly, did not risk, and then it turned out that they also won the stage ".
According to him "MAZ-SPORTauto" team has long been in the elite of the world motorsport. "But with the victory in the rally we are entering a new stage of development. It is very important for us that this happened in Turkmenistan, a coumtry which Belarus maintains friendly relations with. Now it's important not to stop, "the team leader believes.
The victory in the rally in the Karakum Desert was the best result in the history of MAZ-SPORTAauto team. Prior to this, Sergei Vyazovich's crew took silver place at the world famous Dakar marathon.