MINSK, 27 November (BelTA) – MAZ-Sportauto Team presented the trucks ahead of Dakar 2020 which will debut this year in Saudi Arabia on 5-17 January, BelTA has learned.
According to Siarhei Viazovich, the head and pilot of the team, Dakar was one of the most technically challenging rallies for the participants in 2019. “This year we decided to field the hooded MAZ truck which proved its worth at various rallies last year. We were leading most of the Silk Way rally last year but failed to make it to the top three. We want to take revenge," he said. "Since then, we have refined the configuration of the vehicle. It will take long to recount all changes that we made. The vehicle is now better managed, its weight is better distributed. It is more comfortable to be in it,” Siarhei Viazovich said.
MAZ-SPORTauto has upgraded the technical fleet, he informed. “For example, at Dakar 2020 we will have a new camper van with more comfortable recreational conditions. Aliaksei Vishneuski's truck is equipped with an automatic transmission. “We do not stand still. We make improvements after every rally. We are ready to win the leading positions,” Siarhei Viazovich added.
Performing this year will be three Belarusian crews. Siarhei Viazovich and co-pilots Pavel Haranin and Anton Zaparoshchanka will compete on the hooded MAZ. Pilot Aleksandr Vasilevski will team up with Dzmitry Vikhrenka and Vitali Murylev. Aliaksei Vishneuski will compete together with Maksim Novikau and Andrei Neviarovich.
The 42nd edition of the Dakar will start in Jeddah on 5 January 2020 and conclude in Qiddiyah, near the Saudi capital of Riyadh, on 17 January. With an overall distance over 7,800km, the competitors will battle over 5,000km of special stages. Participating crews will discover sands, dunes and dangerous rocky zones.
The official entry list for the 2020 Dakar includes 351 vehicles: 170 bikes and quads, 134 cars and SSVs and 47 trucks.
In 2019, two MAZ-SPORTauto crews finished in top ten in Peru. Sergei Vyazovich was sixth, Aleksandr Vasilevsky - eighth. Aliaksei Vishneuski placed 11th.
Eduard Nikolaev's crew (KAMAZ, Russia) won the last year's edition.
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