Astana tops Dakar Rally 2012
Jan 05. Caspionet
An historic victory of Kazakh motorsport has culminated the third stage of Dakar Rally 2012. Kazakhstan’s Astana team has been featuring in Dakar’s truck division for the second consecutive year. The crew composition has changed compared with last year, but the driver, Kazakhstan’s Artur Ardavichus, has been assisted by a different team consisting of Russia’s navigator Aleksei Kuzmich and Kazakh mechanical engineer Nurlan Turlybayev. At the third stage of the multi-day race stretching between Argentinian cities of San-Rafael and San Juan, Astana has come in second following Iveco’s crew headed by Italy’s Miki Biasion. However, in the overall rankings based on the three combined racing days Astana climbed into the first place.
Artur Ardavichus, Astana Rally Team Driver:
– It’s been a difficult day, some 200 kilometres, but these 200 kilometres felt like they were 500. There were narrow canyons, rocks all around us, hills and slopes, stream and canals. So we had to re-arrange during the turn to get over it.» «We hope we can cope with this speed. Forward Kazakhstan, forward Astana.
Astana is ahead of its closest rival in the general classification Iveco, the Dutch’s Gerard de Rooy by 28 seconds. A change of leaders has taken place in other classifications, too. Krzysztof Holowczyc of Poland has topped the motor crews division on his Mini, while KTM’s French Cyril Despres has topped the motor racers division classification due to a win in the third stage.