Belarusian riders relatively successfully overcame the penultimate stage of the Dakar-2019 rally-raid. All three crews finished in the top ten, and Alexey Vishnevsky’s MAZ managed to complete the race even after Czech Martin Kolomy crashed it with his Tatra.
The ninth stage was held in the vicinity of the city of Pisco. The 311 km of the special stage became the “hodgepodge” of Dakar obstacles: first there were dunes, then “fesh-fesh”, and in the end there were winding mountain roads. Almost all the crews encountered difficulties on the track.
“Today was a double start, which we went together with Gerard de Roy. We drove for the “flying Dutchman” and weren’t heroes, especially since he had a decent pace that we couldn’t keep on our own. In one place he could not take a side bias and did not rise, but we succeeded and we went further, - says Sergey Vyazovich. - We went to the track first and it was difficult for the navigator here. While he was choosing the direction in doubt, I, as a pilot, was nervous and reinsured. As a result, due to the long decision where to go, we sat down at one of the peaks. The speed was inappropriate, and we hung on the top, but we dug out in five minutes. For 20-30 km to the finish line we entered the mountainous part, and it was narrow for trucks. Dima Sotnikov reversed, and in front, as it seemed, Iveco laid. At the finish, we learned that it was Federico Villagra's truck. The last section was uncertain, torn and nervous."
At the same time, Sergey Vyazovich’s MAZ finished the second, passing a special stage in 4 hours and 33 minutes. The winner of the race was Eduard Nikolaev, who was 14 minutes faster. In the overall standings, Belarusians moved up to sixth place with a delay of 6 hours 19 minutes from the Russian crew leading the race. About 14 minutes separated the “fastest MAZ” from fifth place.
Alexey Vishnevsky’s MAZ finished with injuries. Tatra truck crashed into it, driven by Czech Martin Colomy. However, this did not prevent Belarusians from getting to the finish with a good time.
"There were no signs of trouble. We went to support Alexander Vasilevsky, caught up with him, kept behind, walked along the dunes together. At some point, we stopped to “pull in” and stood for four minutes. We thought that Sasha was already ahead, but it was the other way around, as he had been looking for one of the control points for a long time. We were in a rocky mountain gorge, rolled over a roll and there a second sharp ascent awaited us, where we stopped backwards. In just five seconds, Martin Coloma crashed into us, smashing our truck badly. Vasilievsky's MAZ arrived a little later and pulled Tatra out so that we could leave,” described Alexey Vishnevsky.
The youngest Belarusian pilot showed the seventh time - 5 hours 21 minutes, which is more than an hour different from the best result. In the general classification the truck is in the second dozen.
Alexander Vasilevsky finished the stage at the eighth place, leaving 5 hours 34 minutes on the highway. He lost 1 hour 14 minutes to the winner of the race. In the "absolute", the Belarusian crew ranks eighth, lagging behind Eduard Nikolayev 10 hours and 12 minutes.
“We passed the stage well, we did not stand anywhere. We helped the motorcyclist: the girl stood and asked for help. A mechanic and co-driver came out to help her to lift a motorcycle and pull it onto the dune. Later, Tatra which crashed into Vishnevsky's MAZ had to be hauled in. The task was to play 37 minutes against Hino, and we beat him more than an hour, so the day was a success, ”Alexander Vasilevsky was pleased with the race.
The last stage of the rally-raid will lead riders in Lima. On the way to the capital, the crews will have a 112-kilometer special stage. And although the organizers promise serious tests on the track, it is unlikely that the final race will present any surprises.