There is a little more than two weeks before the forty second DAKAR rally marathon start. The sports vehicles of the upcoming race participants has already passed technical checks and departed from France to the start point aboard a ferry. The racers focus on the upcoming fight – the battle promises to be interesting, because absolutely all drivers will have to face a completely unfamiliar route: the DAKAR will be held in Saudi Arabia for the first time.

Throughout its history, the race that is now known as DAKAR has seen many different routes. From 1979 to 2007, more than two dozen times the legendary rally marathon started in France and finished in Dakar. Spain, Portugal and Egypt also hosted the race start or finish.

Since 2009 the DAKAR has moved to South America, where it has been held for ten years. And starting from 2020 West Asia will host the race – the DAKAR will be held in Saudi Arabia for at least the next five years.

A new and unfamiliar track, a closed country in the past, and an abundance of sand – all these factors make the upcoming DAKAR a special event.

Participants will start on 5 January, 2020 in the city of Jeddah. They will tackle 12 stages, separated by a day of rest that the racers will spend in the city of Riyadh – the capital of Saudi Arabia.

Compared to last year, the DAKAR rally distance increased from five to seven and a half thousand kilometers. The length of special stages has also grown – in 2019 in South America racers covered about three thousand competitive kilometers; this time they will find two thousand kilometers more. 75 percent of the distance will be sands.

More than three hundred participants on motorcycles, quads, SUVs, SSV buggies, and trucks will start at the 42nd DAKAR. The crews, on whose vehicles premium G-Energy oils manufactured by Gazpromneft Lubricants will be tested, will perform in two categories.

Vladimir Vasilyev, the honored master of sports of Russia, assisted by the Ukrainian Vitaly Evtekhov, will start in the SSV standings with the G-Energy logo on board (No. 317). The MAZ-SPORTauto team will perform in the Truck standings also with the G-Energy support – Sergey Vyazovich, Alexander Vasilevsky and Alexey Vishnevsky will drive the racing trucks.

Gazpromneft will provide a mobile laboratory and technical support to the MAZ-SPORTauto and X-Raid G-Energy Team crews. G-Energy mobile laboratory will accompany racers along the entire rally marathon route. Technical specialists will conduct about a hundred studies of oils and lubricants samples taken from the units of sports vehicles at bivouacs after each completed special stage – a segment of extreme complexity. Operational information on the state of sports equipment during the rally will enable teams to avoid unscheduled repairs during the racing days and to pre-plan the mechanics’ work for the next stages.
A mobile laboratory complex equipped with an IR spectrometer, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and a viscometer allows to carry the engine and transmission unit diagnostics without disassembling it in the field conditions, as well as to evaluate the oil operational properties.

The report of the detailed laboratory research is received by the team technical service within 15 minutes after sampling. According to the dynamics of changes in the physicochemical parameters of lubricants operating in extreme loading modes, specialists determine the condition of the vehicle components and assemblies. The content of metal micro particles gives mechanics information on the nature of the crank mechanism and the cylinder-piston group parts wear. The atmospheric dust accumulation indicates the incorrect operation of the air supply and filtration system. The quantitative content of incomplete fuel combustion products shows the fuel system wear.
Information on the sports equipment state during the race makes it possible to significantly reduce the time for maintenance and to pre-plan the mechanics’ work for the next stages.

Alexander Trukhan, Gazpromneft-Lubricants LLC General Director, “Directly cooperating with the largest equipment manufacturers and accompanying successful motorsports teams at the most exhausting races of the planet, such as the DAKAR and the Silk Way rallies, our technical specialists receive real-time feedback from drivers, mechanics and engineers. We take into account the data obtained when developing new types of motor, transmission and gear oils. Thanks to this expertise, we were the first in Russia to launch specialized products for sporting cars and heavy-duty trucks that have repeatedly proved their properties under extreme operating conditions”.

Administrative checks will start on the 2 January 2020 in the afternoon and will end at 10 a.m. on the 4 January. The Ceremonial start will take place on the same day and the next day the participants will go to the first leg and the first special stage.


Vladimir Vasilyev, world-class master of motorsports, the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies holder, the X-Raid G-Energy Team driver, crew No. 317: 

“When a team claims a high result, the diagnostics and repair, even in the field conditions, should be professional and quick. We have repeatedly used the mobile laboratory services, and this is a real help in our work at the race. Gazpromneft-Lubricants specialists take samples and give us a detailed report, from which we can immediately see what changes have occurred in the composition, whether metals have been added and which ones, whether there are sand particles or other impurities. If the oil, despite the extreme complexity of the route, has retained its properties, we can less closely monitor the condition of the gear units and the engine at this segment of the race, and do not drain the oil once more”.

Sergey Vyazovich, the MAZ-SPORTauto team driver, crew No. 503:

“We are leaving for this race in Saudi Arabia in full team: three sports crews, six technical vehicles, including two motorhomes, three cars, a minibus and two SUVs. There are 36 of us.
For many years we have been using only Gazpromneft-Lubricants oils in all types of vehicles. We even don’t have another brand in stocks.
In fact, the advantage of a mobile laboratory use is very high: there are many components and assemblies that require partial or complete dismantling for repair or inspection. In the case of analysis by laboratory specialists, this need for disassembling goes away. If there are no extraneous impurities, fractions and additives in the lubricant taken for a test, then we save time for mechanics to carry out other work. The engine, gearbox, transfer case, axles – here we use the knowledge and experience of specialists from the G-Energy mobile laboratory. For example, gears differential. At initial wear, other metals appeared in the oil, and the mobile laboratory engineer indicated that this gearbox must be removed and inspected in detail. We really made sure that the gearbox was damaged and further movement using this unit would have stopped the car at the special stage. A racing team is not a service center or a warranty workshop; we provide repair of sports equipment and must predict breakdowns on time. Usually during a race no one changes such units, but timely replacement saved us from retirement”

Rally-Guide              Online results             Participants

Download hi-rez photos of the X-RAID G-ENERGY TEAM Download hi-rez photos of the MAZ-SPORTauto team
Gazpromneft Lubricants Company (Gazpromneft-SM LLC), a Gazprom Neft subsidiary specializing in the production and sale of oils, lubricants and technical fluids. Is partner of the crews of the MAZ-SPORTauto team and the X-RAID G-Energy Team led by Vladimir Vasilyev and Vitaly Evtekhov.

G-Energy is a premium brand of motor oils from Gazprom Neft, designed for the most modern European, American and Japanese cars. The unique adaptive ACF technology used in the oil allows you to enhance the necessary performance properties depending on the engine operating conditions, activating the necessary additives at the right time. Products are manufactured at the Gazpromneft-SM plant in Bari (Italy). Oils are approved by the world’s leading manufacturers (MB, VW, Renault, GM, etc.). In 2013 Gazpromneft-SM was the first company at the Russian market to produce a specialized line of 100% synthetic G-Energy Racing oils, specially designed for professional racing cars and modern sports cars. G-Energy Racing oils provide maximum engine protection against wear, as well as effectively protect its parts from the formation of deposits, maintaining operational properties even at maximum loads typical for racing.

Mobile laboratory is a unique complex that allows to make the rapid oils analysis. It is equipped with three high-tech devices: Fluid Scan IR spectrometer, xSort xRF spectrometer and MiniVisc mini viscometer.
The Fluid Scan IR spectrometer assesses the degree of the working oil degradation compared to a sample of clean product. It measures the additive package relative depletion and the base number reduction, determines the degree of the product contamination with coolant, water, soot; determines the degree of the product nitration, oxidation, sulfation. The measured values ​​of these indicators allow to diagnose the engine systems condition and assess the degree of the product “aging”.
The xSF xSort spectrometer shows the content of metals and abrasive contaminants (atmospheric dust) in samples of operating oil. Metals in oil are products of parts wear, indicating elements of additives.
The viscometer allows to assess the dynamics of changes in the operating oil kinematic viscosity that, in turn, is responsible for ensuring the pressure in the lubrication system and ensuring the required thickness of the oil film on the rubbing, loaded parts. The measured parameters values​​allow to diagnose system failure and engine parts wear, to determine the presence of pollutants, to assess the reserve of the product operational properties.

Gazpromneft – Lubricants (OOO Gazpromneft-SM), a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, specializing in the production and sale of oils, lubricants and technical fluids. It was created in November 2007. Products are manufactured at 6 sites in Russia, Italy and Serbia. Total production is 600 thousand tons ofhigh-quality oils, lubricants and technical fluids per year. The Omsk Lubricants Plant (OZSM) has the most modern complex in Russia for oils mixing, filling and packaging with a total annual mixing and packing capacity of 300 thousand tons. The system of Gazpromneft – Lubricants management and its production assets complies with the requirements of international standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001, IATF 16949 and OHSAS 18001. The company products consumers are the largest industrial enterprises; the range includes 600 types of oils and lubricants for all market sectors (over 1500 commodity items). The company products have over 330 approvals from leading manufacturers: KAMAZ, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Volvo, Renault, General Motors, Cummins, MAN, ZF, Bosch Rexroth, and others. The company also manufactures and sells marine oils. Gazpromneft-SM accounts for 21% of the packaged lubricants market in Russia, and also operates in the CIS and Baltic countries, Europe, Central and Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, etc. The company products are represented in 75 countries of the world.