2 Kazakhstan crews in Top 20 of Dakar 2014
Jan 20. Tengrinews
The 35th edition of the world’s most prestigious Dakar rally has finished in the Chilean city Valparaiso on January 18, 2014, Tengrinews reports.
The Dakar went through the territories of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The marathon rally started in the city of Argentina Rosario on January 5 and lasted for 14 days including the rest day on January 11. There was an unusually strong competition among different teams and pilots at this year’s Dakar. The struggle lasted until the very end of the race and the final special section became the decisive one for the winners in some of the categories.
Kazakhstan racers achieved good results. Three of its crews managed to finish the race, with two of them finishing in the Top 20.
The truck crew of pilot Arthur Ardavichus, navigator Alexey Nikizhev and mechanic Radim Kaplanek completed the thirteenth and last stage of the Dakar in the 13th place. The crew made it into the Top 20 gaining the 14th place in the general ranking of the race.
“We are very glad and pleased with our achievements. We have successfully completed all our tasks at this Dakar race. We drove through the whole race one more time. Our three crews that represented Kazakhstan’s team Astana Motorsports finished the Dakar and got onto the podium. It means we brought more medals from Dakar to Kazakhstan. It is a pleasure that our team has applied all the efforts, 100%, to make it,” Arthur Ardavichus said.
The off-road crew of pilot Aidyn Rakhimbayev and navigator Vladimir Demyanenko also entered the Dakar Top 20 and finished the race in the 17th place after finishing the thirteenth stage in the 20th place.
The crew completed several stages in a row in the 10-13th places, overtaking many top pilots. Unfortunately, the Rahimbayev/Demyanenko crew faced difficulties on the 12th day of the race because of sharp rocks on the track. They replaced only three tires in the previous ten days of the Dakar and during that unfortunate day they had to replace six. Stones on the road not only tore the tires, but also broke a wheel hub. The crew had a real chance to enter the Top 10, but flat tires and delayed support cost them lot of time and position lines as well.
“We have shown ourselves very well at the Dakar. And now most leaders of the race know Astana team and our flag and respect us,” Astana Motorsports pilot Aydin Rakhimbayev said, “I want to thank all our fans and Kazakhstan for their tremendous support that made a big difference to us and our results.”
The second car crew of pilot Denis Berezovsky and navigator Ignat Falkov finished the last stage of the Dakar in the 43th place and retained their 37th place in the overall.
“It is our best result after three Dakar rallies participated by our off-road crews. We are the 4th place in T2 class and 37th in the overall. It is a great victory for us and we are very happy,” another pilot of Astana Motorsports Denis Berezovsky said.
Both Kazakhstan car crews of Astana Motorsports have made it into the Top 5 in their classes. Denis Berezovsky crew is ranked 4th in the T2 class (the cross-country series production vehicles) and Aydin Rakhimbayev crew is in the 5th place in the T1 class (improved cross-country vehicles).
On January 5 431 participants, officially approved, got onto the starting podium: 174 bikes, 40 quads, 147 cars and 70 trucks. And only 204 vehicles managed to finish Dakar (78 bikes, 15 quads, 61 cars and 50 trucks) in Valparaíso.
The cars competition was especially exciting this year thanks to a range of favorites: Stephane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz, Nasser Al-Attiyah, Nani Roma, Giniel de Villiers and Robby Gordon. It was the biggest and most prestigious competition with a high concentration of ranking pilots in this category.
Spanish racer Marc Coma won his fourth title in the motorcycle category riding a KTM. Ignacio Casale of Chile took his maiden title in the quad category on a Yamaha. Spaniard Nani Roma clinched victory in the car category for the first time, ten years after his sole motorcycle title, driving a Mini; and Russian pilot Andrey Karginov took his first truck category title for Kamaz.
The racers covered 13 stages of 9 500 kilometers, including complicated special sections and liaisons, during the Dakar, the most dangerous and prestigious marathon rally in the world. A ceremonial podium awaited the participants after the final stage.
Now our athletes are bringing the cherished Dakar medals to Kazakhstan. Astana Motorsports team demonstrated its strong spirit, endurance and combative mood.