1st October 2020, 19:29
I am delighted to announce that i will be driving for @BRaidXtreme
, an exciting new @dakar
team debuting at #Dakar2021
We are Bahrain Raid Xtreme
Likes: pantealex (3rd October 2020),Rally Hokkaido (10th October 2020)
21st October 2020, 20:45
KAMAZ surprises by leaving five-time winner Eduard Nikolaev out of the next Dakar
The Dakar in the truck category promises to lose big names in the 2021 edition. If a few weeks ago it was De Rooy who reported that his team was going to pause in the competition for economic reasons derived from the pandemic, now it has been KAMAZ Master which has confirmed that Eduard Nikolaev the one who will step aside, leaving the 36-year-old Russian pilot as one of the discards of the structure directed by Vladimir Chagin.
Instead, the Blue Armada will field four 43509 units from January 3 in Jeddah, the day on which the next edition of the Dakar will begin. The four will be piloted by Anton Sibalov, Dmitry Sotnikov, Andrei Karginov and finally Airat Mardeev, who returns to the competition after his absence in 2020 (as a curiosity, he was the driver in the vehicles authorized for the press), trying to reissue the triumph achieved in 2015, while Karginov will try to add his third touareg after those achieved in 2014 and 2020.
Obviously the race receives the shock of losing the five-time Dakar winner (one of them as Vladimir Chagin's mechanic), a Nikolaev who had participated consecutively in all the editions of the event since 2007 and who was called to become in the new Tsar of the truck category after the withdrawal of Chagin. Even so, Eduard will travel with the team and perform the duties of the right hand of the person in charge of the structure, a deputy position that Sergei Savostin had held until now, who will stay in Russia preparing the competition for 2021, which in principle should start soon with the Casualty schedule already revealed by the FIA.
Today we have five capable teams on the team. All the drivers are equally good and it is a perfectly competitive quintet. But we had to choose four teams to defend the colors of the Kamaz-Master team and the national auto industry in Dakar. It just came to our attention then. Finally, Eduard Nikolaev temporarily leaves the wheel of the competition truck. During the degree, it will help me solve technical and organizational problems. I think his many years of experience as a driver and mechanic will help. The Dakar needs to make the right decisions in an instant, that's the only way to win - Vladimir Chagin
The trucks will travel at the beginning of December for the first technical verification and to be loaded onto the ferry that will wait in the port of the French city of Marseille, but the real surprise will be to see how Nikolaev is left out of the game after what From the manufacturer's communication press department they point out that it was due to a “decision of the team management”, which has defined that Eduard was the pilot who will be left out in this year's rotation. An unprecedented event.
It will be a new test and a challenge for me. I will do everything possible and impossible to be useful to the team in the new position. I know the race from the coach's point of view. Many pilots have tried this role before me. For us it was Firdaus Kabirov, somewhere else for example Gerard de Rooy or Jordi Viladoms from KTM… They took a break and then came back. I think our team still has a lot ahead of it - Eduard Nikolaev
The trucks will bring news, since in the debut of the race in Saudi Arabia some overheating problems were discovered, both in the engine and in the tires, which is why we have worked both on the aerodynamics, and on the option to increase the reliability of the engine and also make the inflation and deflation system of the wheels faster.
KAMAZ engineers have also worked on design changes, including some developments in the reduction of unsprung masses and in the reduction of the center of gravity, however, not all solutions have been implemented due to the high costs involved in their implementation, as well as the teams are waiting for the FIA to approve the new Cross-Country Rally World Championship next December, which will also have its own category for trucks. That is precisely one of the reasons given that at the last World Council the calendar for the Casualty World Cup was presented, but no mention was made of the rally program.