Arthur Ardavichus: We have to be in top 20 of Dakar 26 октября 2011, 15:17
Arthur Ardavichus. ©Vladimir Dmitriyev
Pilot of Kazakhstan team Astana Arthur Ardavichus is sure that his team will be in top 20 of the prestigious Dakar rally, Tengrinews.kz reports.
"We are ready and we will compete until we are out of strenght. The team is made of professionals only. These are our new mechanic Nurlan Turlybayev and navigator Aleksei Kuzmich. By the way, Aleksei Kuzmich is one of the top ten navigators of Russia, and this country, as you know, is famous for its proficiency in the races,” Ardavichus said.
The driver noted that competition in Dakar will be very high this season, despite of the fact the Russian pilots Firdaus Kabirov and Vladimir Chagin retired. “None of our competitors are sleeping. Everyone will present their best teams. KAMAZ-master will still be a favorite, even without its leaders. Most probably, a worthy replacement has been found for them,” Kazakhstan pilot added.
The KamAZ that the Kazakh team will use in Argentine in January 2012 is currently in Almaty. It arrived from Naberezhnye Chelny, where the truck was assembled. Turlybayev took part in assembling the car and drove it to Kazakhstan.
"The truck is practically new. It has many changes compared to the one that took part in last Dakar and Silk Way rallies. I had some adventures on my way from Naberezhnye Chelny to Kazakhstan. I was find for speeding several times. But you just can't drive this KamAZ slowly. There will be some more minor changes made in the truck before Dakar. On the road here a few malfunctions were discovered and we'll need to eliminate them. We will also replace the brake pads, so that we don't have any problems in Argentine,” the mechanic said.
Assembling the car took around 2.5 months. KamAZ is 3 meters high, 8 meters long and 3 meters wide. It weighs 10 tons.
Astana KamAZ is currently available for all the car fans in Almaty to see. October 25-26 the truck is exhibited near the central entrance of Mega Mall. Anyone may take pictures with the truck and talk to the crew. On October 27 and 28 KamAZ will be shown at Promenade shopping center. On October 29 the truck will be officially sent to Naberezhnye Chelny from Astana square (crossing of Tole bi and Abylai khan streets).
Kazakhstan will be also represented in the offroaders category at Dakar for the first time. Pilot of Kazakhstan team is a famous racer Denis Berezovskiy, who was a navigator in Ardavichus's team last Dakar. “Offroaders are my passion. I will try to make my dream come true in Argentine. We will be driving a new car. This is a prototype of Land Rover Defender of “production” class. Our European team will be responsible for our maintenance; we have been working with them for a long time. We have no certain goals set for the race. Our goal is to reach the finish,” Berezovskiy said.
Ardavichus's KamAZ was ranked 14th in the last major Silk Way rally, held in Russia in July. Crews of Berezovskiy and other Kazakhstan offroad pilot, Andrei Cherednyakov, could not reach the finish for technical reasons. Berezovskiy drove Nissan Pathfinder.
Dakar-2012 will kick off on January 1, 80 km south of Buenos Aires. The route will will go through Argentine and Chile, including Atakama desert, which is considered the driest in the world. The rally will finish on January 15 in Lima, the capital of Peru. "We know most of the areas, except for Peru. Mountains and sands were the most difficult last year, but we found approaches and methods. If last year we drove on our enthusiasm among, this time we are weighing everything,” the team's technical director Zhanat Zhalimbetov said.
Astana team's information partners are Tengrinews.kz, Tengri FM radio station, Alash Ainassy newspaper and STV channel.