Total Compétition - Le Team Kamaz Master Dakar 2017

Team Kamaz Master

Image Kamaz 4326

Un V8 turbo de 16.2 litres développe 900 chevaux passés à 4 roues motrices pour animer les 10 tonnes du Kamaz 4326.


Vladimir Chagin et les équipes Kamaz

Team Kamaz Vladimir Chagin

"The upcoming race is special. First of all, it will be fortieth Dakar, and second, next year KAMAZ-master Team will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary. Contemplating last years, thinking back of challenges connected with participation of our team in that extreme adventure, I catch myself on the idea that you can't get used to it. Every Dakar is a new challenge! New territories and countries, new rivals, harsh forces of nature from heavy rains, lack of oxygen in mountains to unbearable heat, surprises in the form of new requirements of the regulations and a lot of other things, that you can never get bored of and that will always pull up. Anniversary dates of 2018 bring additional responsability. Of course, we will fight for victory. Go on, KAMAZ!"

Valdimir Chagin, the team leader


TEAM 500

Pilot: Eduard Nilcolaev / Co-pilot: Evgeny Yakovlev / Mechanic: Vladimir Rybakov

eduard nikolaev

For Nikolaev :

What did it mean to win again, four years after your first victory ?
If to be more exact, in my career I already had 3 first Dakar places: in 2010 Chagin’s crew, where I was a mechanic, became a winner of the race. And as a pilot, you are right, I was twice a champion in the truck category – in 2013 and 2017. For the last-year our crew was striving for 4 years. And those were difficult years. In rally-raids as a human factor so preparedness of trucks are of high importance there. But this also is not enough. You need good luck! And those three components did the desired puzzle for us in 2017. Of course, it is indescribable feeling of at the same time happiness, pride and satisfaction that efforts of many people led to successful outcome.
How did you build your victory last year ?
I would like to emphasize that when we speak about victory we often speak about victory of a crew, not only of a pilot. Our last year success is based on the team tactics, reliability of the truck, coordinated work of the crew and added to it good luck that I have spoken before.

How did you prepare during the year for this 2018 Dakar ?
My personal preparation for Dakar-2018 started the next day after the finish of the race in 2017. It is true. I think that it is even easier to win than to keep the result. That what our crew faced with in 2013. We are certainly more experienced now than then and we will try to keep our champion title. During the year we had an active competitive practical training, also we worked a lot on modernization of trucks and were focused on our own physical form.
What is your objective ?
The target is to be on the podium. It is also important to test a range of new technical decisions, implemented into our trucks, we hope that our trucks will not let us down.
This is the 40th édition, what does it mean for you ?
I already had an “anniversary” Dakar. The thirtieth, in 2008. It was to become our first international rally within the crew of Vladimir Chagin. But unfortunately the race was cancelled. Therefore you may understand how eagerly I waited for this 40 th edition. Because organizers traditionally try to make anniversary races special and memorable. I hope very much that the upcoming Dakar will be remarked as for our team so for our crew only for positive emotions.

TEAM 502

Pilot:  Dmitry Sotnikov / Co-pilot: Ruslan Akhmadeev / Mechanic: Ilnur Mustafin

For Sotnikov :

How did you feel on the podium last year finishing second, your best result ?
It was my fourth Dakar and long-awaited result. We were close to the first place in the category last year as well. Nevertheless, “silver” of Dakar was a big happiness for all our crew and incredible feelings.
How did you prepare during the year for this 2018 Dakar ?
In order to comply with new regulations of Dakar we built a truck with 13-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine. The whole year went in the framework of preparation and test of the new truck. It was our crew that was responsible for that work. Starting from assembly and finishing with tests during competitions.
What is your objectif ?
Our target is to drive the race on a new truck. This test program is important to go without failure and if we are lucky – with a good result at the finish. I am sure that it will be very interesting though it is not clear how the new engine will perform in conditions of Bolivian highlands. But we will hope for the best and work for result.
This is the 4Oth édition, what does it mean for you ?
Veterans of our team say that every anniversary Dakar is always special. They are always challenging. I think that the fortieth edition will be of this kind. Anyway, Peru with its sands already brings diversity to the race program. However, not only landscapes are interesting for me. People, cultures and history are an integral part of Dakar. All that together with sports is why participants and fans love the race.

TEAM 507

Pilot: Airat Mardeev / Co-pilot: Aidar Belyaev / Mechanic: Dmitry Svistunov

Airat Mardeev
For Mardeev :

Were you happy or disappointed by your last Dakar ?
Of course, I am disappointed with the result. If you remember, we got stuck in a very difficult place. We were helped out with great difficulty, after 2,5 hours spent for that. Though if there had not been this unfortunate situation, we could have fought for the top lines of the standings in the truck category.

Do you come back with a sense of Revenge ?
Personally for me and all our crew it is very important to bounce back for the last year and show good result. We have everything - an excellent truck, well prepared, coordinated and experienced crew. It is important the fortune to be on our side and without incidents as last year. However, I consider that a really cool pilot should predict in some way such troubles and even preempt them.
Is there rivalry in the Kamaz team ?
Tactics and strategy during the race in the team is driven by the common goal – some crew should get onto the podium. The understanding, for which crew other crews will work, comes approximately by the middle of the race. The main in the first half of the race is to enter the competition in a right way, get ready to the main battle in its second half. It is important to keep the tactics, physical and mental mood of the crew. It is more battle with yourself and nature, and less – with a rival. And after the rest day starts a really tough rivalry and fight for seconds, that follow a common team strategy and discipline.

TEAM 515

Pilot: Anton Shibalov / Co-pilot: Dmitry Nikitin / Mechanic: Ivan Romanov

Anton Shibalov
For  Shibalov :

How did you prepare during the year for this 2018 Dakar ?
As always very intensive. Our preparation program includes as preparation of trucks, so physical preparation, participation in various competitions. In the end of November we spent a quite efficient week in Morocco. I won’t say what it is, something extraordinary, but after hard weeks of work in the shop, connected with preparation of trucks, such travels to desert are useful enough to recover skills of pilotage.
What is your objectif ?
Role of our crew during the race is to help and backup other crews of the team. Our truck will be a bit heavier than other race KAMAZ trucks. For us it is important to go in a stable way, without making mistakes. I really hope that we will not have to stand on the track as for our own mistakes so for other KAMAZ-master crews.
This is the 4Oth édition, what does it mean for you ?
It is always interesting to take part in some “anniversary” thing. There is foretaste of something new, bright and memorable. Due to the description of the route organizers of the 40 th Dakar tried to make it exactly like this. In my point of view, there are two weeks of the most interesting adventure, new landscapes and uncompromising struggle.