MAZ team share impressions about Dakar 2018

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MAZ team share impressions about Dakar 2018

Silver prize-winners of Dakar 2018 crew number 512 of the truck MAZ have given an interview to the TV program Morning. Studio of Good Mood on the CTV Channel. Among the guests are head of the team MAZ-SPORTauto Sergey Vyazovich, the navigator of MAZ-SPORTauto Pavel Garanin and mechanic Andrei Zhigulin.

SEE: Belarus' MAZ wins silver at Dakar 2018

Was it really one of the difficult races?

Sergei Vyazovich, MAZ-SPORTauto driver:
If we take what we have seen since 2012, yes, this was the most difficult route, multiplied by three. It was the longest too. While the length of special stages that year (due to the weather conditions) was about 2,800 km, this year it was 4,000 km. The length was the same - 14 stages - but during this time we traveled almost twice as much. Plus, the Peruvian part has been returned. It all consists only of the dunes and takes quite a long time.

What was the most exciting?

Sergey Vyazovich:
The most difficult thing was to keep the result psychologically. We have worked on this for many years, in principle, speed allowed us to stay in the leaders' group for a long time. But one or two unlucky stages always threw us from the leading positions in the general classifications. This time, one of our crews, run by Alexei Vishnevsky, was in third place already from the third stage, we were in fourth. For the team it was important that at least one truck remains on the podium.  And even with a handicap of 1.5-2 hours from the next truck behind you was still very hard. As for driving itself, that was not a problem, we are used to doing our job on the road well.

What contributed to this successful result, in your opinion?

Sergey Vyazovich:
There were many factors, and it was not the last year. We have been going in big steps to this victory for all the 7 years. Other teams have been taking part in Dakar for decades. Kamaz-master turns 30 years, but MAZ is only seven. The team has been taking part in Dakars since 2010. But we cannot say that 2018 was decisive. It's been 7 years of hard work of all those people who the audience has not even seen on TV. So I can say today that the Belarusian team, Belarusian motor sport and Belarusian trucks are one of the most competitive in the world.  

What about mechanic’s work?

Andrei Zhigulin, mechanic:
Actually what I have to do is only a small part of work. Because my responsibility is to maintain the vehicle during the race. But the most difficult part comes at night when a whole lot of other mechanics have to restore the truck, beaten by sands, stones and collisions.

We now don’t have any problems now with particular parts as it was before, but Dakar is a difficult race so anything can break at any time.

You don’t have Internet. GPS is not working. How do you know where to ride?

Sergey Vyazovich:
Pavel is guiding us. He has a kind of roadbook. We have always been surprised at how a person, with such jolting of the truck, can lead us somewhere at all!

Pavel Garanin, navigator:
Most of the races are on roads, but when it comes to deserts it’s always hard to tell the right way, there are no billboards to guide you (laughs).