MINSK, 20 January (BelTA) - Sergei Vyazovich's crew of Belarus' MAZ-SPORTavto team made it to second place overall after Stage 13 of the 2018 Dakar Rally in the truck category, BelTA has learned.
Last day's special had some surprises in store. Second place went to Sergei Vyazovich, the leader of MAZ-SPORTavto team, as Federico Villagra of Argentina abandoned the rally.
Many crews faced technical problems during the 369-kilometer race. Federico Villagra (Iveco) had a gearbox failure. Moreover, his team was suspected of having gassed up in the neutral zone, which is forbidden by the rules. As a result, Federico Villagra, the second placed driver in the overall standings, dropped out of the rally.
“We did not drive too fast to avoid any failures. The drivers use to joke that the last three days are about survival rather than racing. Sergei Vyazovich's crew lost 12 minutes repairing the power steering hose at the start of the race. In general, the stage was a success. This is the first Belarusian crew ever to climb to second place in the general classification,” the MAZ team said.
Sergei Vyazovich clocked in 6 hours 26 minutes to come in fourth, 27 minutes behind the pace-setter Eduard Nikolaev (KamAZ). The Belarusian crew climbed into second place overall with 3 hours 54 minutes back.
The race was less successful for another two Belarusian crews. Alexander Vishnevsky's truck, for instance, endured two flat tires.
The last bivouac of the rally is Cordoba, Argentina. The 120-kilometer special features around 30 obstacles which will not allow the racers relax until the very end of the event.
The 2018 Dakar edition is the seventh for the Belarusian team. The owner of MAZ-SPORTavto is Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ trademark), the technical partner is velcom. The 2018 Dakar Rally is running through Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. The race features 3,500 kilometers of high-speed sections, with most of the route running in the highlands.More about Sport