Published on December 12th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Dakar 2015 Truck Race, Kamaz Style
For the first time in history, the Dakar will feature a marathon stage for the truck category with a stop at a dedicated bivouac near Iquique. This important element will be among the difficulties Andrey Karginov and the Kamaz team will have to manage, which has many advantages to continue its domination on the event.
We see nothing but blue! In the Dakar record books, the truck category is dominated by the Kamaz team with 12 titles in the past 18 editions. The 2014 victory was even complemented by a high-flying parade of Russian drivers, because behind Andrey Karginov, three of his team mates completed the Top 5. Adding to the roadmap of the armada last year, the four drivers in question had an average age of just 31, which perfectly validates the entry in the post Chagin era… the Czar has assured his successors are worthy of continuing the pedigree.
The 2015 entry list is also a reminder that the fifth truck, which didn’t manage to make it to Valparaiso in 2014, was that of Ayrat Mardeev, another important trump card in the game of Russian ogres. Even more than the individual talent of its ambassadors and the performance level of its machines, it is its collective power that makes Kamaz the favorite once again. However, impregnable fortresses don’t exist, and another reading of the scenario of the previous battle shows that weaknesses exists…and that Gerard De Rooy plays the role of an ideal attacker to put in some prolific battering ram blows. The Dutchman and 2012 winner finished the rally just three minutes behind Karginov, after spending nine stages at the sharp end of the general classification and winning three special stages. The leader of the Ivecos seems to be in the best position to shake up the Kamaz clan, and will be seconded by his cousin Hans Stacey, one of the few to have found a way to counter Kamaz in recent history (2007).
In addition to the Kamaz – Iveco confrontation, the progression of the outsiders makes the emergence of a surprise contender possible in the fight for the title or the podium. Ales Loprais has already been there. And this year, the reluctant forfeiture of his loyal Tatra, for technical regulation incompatibilities, could turn into an opportunity because the Czech will be at the controls of a MAN, as will the ambitious Marcel Van Vliet (3rd in 2010).