Kamaz Master Team out to defend their Dakar dynasty

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Ayrat Mardeev

© Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia
Friday, December 5, 2014

The Russian team will be targeting their 13th Dakar Rally victory when they return to South America in 2015.

A new generation of drivers have grabbed the wheel of the Kamaz Master fleet in recent years, but that has not slowed the juggernaut of success that characterises the team. At last year’s Dakar it was Andrey Karginov who won for Kamaz with a consistent performance that saw him finish inside the top two on nine of the 13 stages. 12 months before that it had been Eduard Nikolaev who claimed victory in his Kamaz 4326 as the team filled all three podium spots at the 2013 Dakar.

Karginov and Nikolaev have proven they have the skills required to step into the racing boots of the recently retired Vladimir Chagin. The seven victories of Chagin puts him in the record books as the most successful single category pilot at the race and he can still be found in the bivouac performing his role as Kamaz Team Captain.

Chagin is ideally placed to coach Kamaz Master’s new generation of drivers as significant changes are made to the Truck race in 2015. For the first time in a decade there will be a marathon stage for trucks at the Dakar. This will leave each three-man crew without the help of their mechanics from the start of Stage Seven until the conclusion of Stage Eight.

During the marathon stage it will be essential that the crews of Karginov and Nikolaev, as well as their team-mates in the trucks driven by Ayrat Mardeev and Dmitry Sotnikov, work in absolute harmony. It will be the sole responsibility of those riding in the trucks to fix any issues arising during these stages passing through the unforgiving Atacama Desert.

Preparing for the marathon stage at the upcoming 9,000km Dakar was part of the focus during a Kamaz Master training camp in Morocco earlier this year. There was also fine tuning performed on the Liebherr engine that will be fitted to all four 10-tonne race trucks after being tested by Nikolaev and his crew at the previous Dakar. Another change for 2015 is that the cabs of all Kamaz trucks will be fitted with an air conditioning unit for the first time, dramatically reducing temperatures while racing.

Despite these modifications the desire and dedication that has driven Kamaz to a dozen Dakar victories remains the same. Follow the fortunes of the team as they travel through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia at redbull.com/dakar.

Red Bull Wings Andre Karginov PR

Andrey Karginov

Andrey Karginov © Denis Klero/Red Bull Content Pool

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Kamaz Master Workshop

Kamaz Master workshop © Denis Klero/Red Bull Content Pool

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Eduard Nikolaev

Eduard Nikolaev © Denis Klero/Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Wings Ayrat Mardeev PR
Ayrat Mardeev

Ayrat Mardeev © Denis Klero/Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Wings Kamaz Master Training

Kamaz Master training

Kamaz Master Training © Denis Klero/Red Bull Content Pool

Reb Bull Wings Dimitry Sotnikov PR

Dmitry Sotnikov

Dmitry Sotnikov © Denis Klero/Red Bull Content Pool

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Kamaz Master action

Action © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Wings Action PR 1

Kamaz Master action

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Kamaz Master action

Action © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool
Driver Quotes

Vladimir Chagin – Kamaz Master Team Leader: “All the four crews will be driving trucks equipped with the Liebheer engine. It’s a reliable engine with good power. We’ve also done some work on the suspension, the shock absorbers, the springs and the stabilisers.”

Andrey Karginov – Driver #500: “I think there are about 20 crews who can compete for the podium, just like there was last year. There is really not that much of a gap between these crews because they all use roughly the same level of equipment. Every year the competition gets better and this year you will see more crews catching up.”

Eduard Nikolaev – Driver #502: “The Dakar in 2015 is a new test for the crews and for the machines. It gets you excited and nervous at the same time. This year we will have four competitive Kamaz race trucks and five support trucks following us. The standard has been set by our predecessors and now we must maintain that level of performance.”

Ayrat Mardeev – Driver #507: “Naturally there is a weight of responsibility but on the other hand now we as drivers have more experience. This helps us to drive across the dunes and now we also know our competitors better than before. We are going to fight tooth and nail for the win at this Dakar Rally.”

Dmitry Sotnikov – Driver #520: “Since the last Dakar everything on the truck has been refined and made lighter. There’s a whole bunch of little tweaks here and there that will help us to get the result we want.”

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Team Kamaz Master

Kamaz Master Team © Denis Klero/Red Bull Content Pool
Media Info

Follow the adventure on www.redbull.com/dakar!

STILL & MOVING IMAGES available for media use at www.redbullcontentpool.com/motorsports.

>> Direct link to Team Kamaz Master 2015 Dakar Rally compilation:

Including photo selection & following video assets:
​MI201411140002 – Portrait Clip Kamaz Master Team (Dirty in Russian with English subtitles)
MI201411100033 – Portrait Clip Kamaz Master Team (Dirty in Russian)
MI201411100034 – Portrait Clip Kamaz Master Team (Clean in Russian)
MI201411100031 – Newscut Preparation for Dakar 2015
MI201411100032 – Interview selects Preparation for Dakar 2015