Belarusians win silver at Dakar 2018


Belarusians win silver at Dakar 2018

Photo: MAZ official website

The Belarusian team MAZ-SPORTavto flew to Minsk on January 25 from South America, where the rally raid Dakar 2018 was held. For the first time the drivers from Belarus took second prize and won silver.

The team "MAZ-SPORTAuto" for the seventh time tried to conquer "Dakar". While in the first years the crews were simply required to at least get to the finish line, then the tasks became more ambitious. The crews did not insure each other, but came to the rescue as a last resort. Despite all the difficulties, breakdowns and surprises of Dakar organizers, the Belarusian racers were able to show the best result in their history. Moreover, none of the Belarusian trucks left the race and all of them reached the finish line of Dakar 2018.

MAZ crew No. 512 (Sergei Vyazovich, Pavel Garanin and Andrei Zhigulin) took second place in the trucks standings.

Crew No. 503 (Alexander Vasilevsky, Dmitry Vikhrenko, Anton Zaporoschenko) took 13th place, while MAZ number 518 (Alexei Vishnevsky, Maxim Novikov, Andrey Neverovich) became 14th.

Representatives of the MAZ plant, as well as members of the athletes' families and fans greeted the Belarusian drivers at National Airport Minsk.

During the race, Belarusians were fined and also got into a small accident with a civic car that somehow made it to the closed road. The MAZ crew did not suffer injuries and could continue the race three minutes afterwards. Once their truck was about to fall on its side, but the truckers somehow managed to fix its position and place it on the four wheels. Otherwise, they would have to wait for help for about three hours.

"We were aware of the perils of Peruvian special stages, and therefore we tried our best to pass them without losses and breakdowns. And we succeeded. An important factor of success at the beginning of the race was the opportunity to practice in the sands of Peru. It took us whole day before the race to test the vehicles in the sands, which allowed us to start confidently in the rally-raid," says Sergey Vyazovich.