For the first time, Belarusian racers will take part in Morocco Desert Challenge rally-raid, which is comparable by its level to the world-famous Dakar. MAZ-SPORTauto team will particpate here with two crews and for the first time will exhibit a hood truck that was presented at the end of last year.
The debut of MAZ will be held in Morocco from 12 to 20 April. Most of the route will lie along the desert and sandy terrain. Unlike other rally raids, there will be no liazons on the track: the special area will start from the bivouacs immideately. 2,741 km of special stages are prepared for the racers. This route will be divided into 8 stages. Among the barriers are dunes, soft sands and dry river beds.
“Now it's widely said that Dakar may return to Africa. If this happens, then we should have a greater understanding of the landscape and climate. Participation in Morocco Desert Challenge will allow us to get a new experience and try out sports trucks at a hot continent, ”said Sergey Vyazovich, the head of the MAZ-SPORTauto team.
Belarus will be represented by two crews at the race. Sergey Vyazovich will drive the hood truck. He will be assisted by the co-driver Anton Zaporoshchenko and the mechanic Sergei Sachuk, for whom this will be the first rally-raid.
The driver of the second crew is Alexei Vishnevsky together with the co-driver Pavel Garanin and the mechanic Vitaly Murylev. They got Vyazovich's truck that he drove during the latest “Dakar”. For this period the truck of Alexey Vishnevsky will undergo a thorough maintenance of the engine. And thus it will be ready for summer rally raids.
The tactics of the team will be new: number one during the Desert Challenge will be for Vishnevsky’s crew. It is a sand-hardened truck capable of bringing Belarusians onto a pedestal. But Vyazovich will act more like a test pilot: he will check the hood truck during the race in order to bring the construction to perfection in Minsk. If the “most beautiful MAZ” shows itself from the best side, it will go for the “Dakar-2020”.
“After the tests in Astrakhan, we have already increased the reliability of some parts of the hood MAZ truck. However, it will get the first racing experience in Morocco. According to the results, we will understand whether the hood truck is ready for serious rally raids or needs some work, - noted Sergey Vyazovich. - We also plan to prepare a reserve crew for future races. That is why the upcoming rally will be extremely useful for the team. "
The trucks will leave Minsk on April 2. On the carriages they will be delivered to the French port, and then by ferry to the Moroccan Agadir, where the race starts.
Among competitors are famous teams: Renault, Iveco, MAN, Scania and Ginaf. In total, 35 crews will perform in the truck category: almost the same nuber was at Dakar rally without counting service trucks.
“Despite the serious competition, we will fight for high positions. Everyone knows: we always go for the victory, although no one is insured from troubles. We have one goal - to become the best racing team in the world. And we are rushing to it as we can,” - summed up the head of MAZ-SPORTauto team.