Two Kazakhstan crews withdrew from fifth and sixth stages of Dakar

11 января 2013, 18:07

The most prestigious transcontinental cross-country rally Dakar-2013 kicked off on January 5. The route crosses three countries: Peru, Argentina and Chile.

Kazakhstan's racing team Astana is represented by 1 truck and 3 offroaders.

Stage 4: Nazca-Arequipa

It was a painful experience for many competitors same as when they discovered the area last year. At the beginning of the special stage, the dunes follow one another, each one like the next, strung out in a never-ending desert capable of unsettling the best technical specialists. During the crucial stage of the first week, the rally was especially tough for motorcyclists: they had to quail on a 2-km slope, of which the gradient put the descent of Iquique on a par with a gentle children’s slide.

The racers covered 717 km from Nazca to Arequipa with 429km of special sections and 288km of connections. The stage was for the first time won by Russian team KAMAZ Master. The crew of Ayrat Mardeev showed the best time being only 3.5 minutes ahead of the second Russian crew Andrey Karginov. Dutch Hans Stacey from Iveco team came third at the stage.

Kazakhstan truck crew of Arthur Ardavichus, Aleksey Nikizhev and Nurlan Turlubayev again had to battle against technical problems from the very first kilometers of the stage and lost over an hour to the stage’s leader. The rest of the route was more successful for the crew, but the it still couldn't win back the lost time they lost in the beginning. In the end Ardavichus’ finished the stage on the 25th place 2 hours behind the leader with the total time of 05:56:22.

The crew of Arthur Ardavichus, Aleksey Nikizhev and Nurlan Turlubayev. Photo courtesy of RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate

The crew of Arthur Ardavichus, Aleksey Nikizhev and Nurlan Turlubayev. Photo courtesy of RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate

This result affected the team’s position in the general ranking of the trucks category: Kazakhstan team dropped from the 9th to 18th place.

Arthur Ardavichus said after the stage: “The fourth day of Dakar is over. Once again it was not a very successful stage for our crew. Technical failures keep haunting us. We cannot understand their origin. The turbocharger control system keeps failing and the engine does not work to its full capacity. We are driving through mountains and sands and it is difficult to pass such a route on a truck that does not reach its full capacity. We get stuck in big holes and find it difficult to go up serpentine roads. We lose a lot of time. We will now try to find out the cause of the failures. I hope that we will overcome this problem and continue driving to our own beat. But with all that’s happening at the Dakar, we are in still in a good position. We have managed to get into the Top-10, today we dropped out of it, but judging by what’s going on here, we are still holding a good line in the tournament’s rankings. Many trucks have flipped over today. Tomorrow some of them will not be back on track because of injuries or if they fail to fix the cars before the morning. That means, I hope, that we will be able to get back to our previous results and drive among the leaders again. Yes, this is Dakar, it’s tough for everyone, but we are still managing.”

One more Kazakhstan crew – Andrey Cherednikov and Albert Horn driving GForce offroader – failed to finish the fourth stage of the race, also because of technical problems. 100km to the finish of the stage the car’s clutch stopped working and the crew had to stop. They kept hoping that they would fix the car and manage to finish the remaining 100km of the fourth stage and continue the race, especially since the next stage had a relatively late start.

One of Kazakhstan’s crews – Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Gabdulla Ashimov – had a similar problem at the second stage when their front axle failed. They managed to save their car and stay in the race. But they had to pass all 16 checkpoints of the previous stage to get to the start of the next section special.

Kazakhstan crews in Stage 4 Rankings:

Truck category


Car category

Quote of the stage: “It was a very interesting special, with sand, rocks and a track that was sometimes wound around a lot. At the start we overtook Pieter Versluis and after that we saw Miki Biaision's truck on its side. Then we overtook Loprais. In the mountains, we saw De Rooy, but he was heading in the other direction. Over the whole day, we didn't have any mechanical problems or navigation problems and we only lost a tiny bit of time on a tricky part with ruts on it. In general, it was a superb special stage.” – Ayrat Mardeev (Truck)

Dakar 2013 – Stage 4 – Car/Bike Stage Summary

Dakar 2013 – Stage 4 – Truck/Quad Stage Summary


Stage 5: Arequipa-Arica

This was a transition stage which saw the rally enter Chile. The contrast were visible both in terms of the variety of scenery and the average speeds recorded at the finish. The tracks taken by the motorcyclists took their toll on their arms: the environment was favorable to attacks, but the stony sections and the rivers to be crossed in some areas curbed their enthusiasm. Those in four-wheeled vehicles also had to criss cross between reliefs, from valley to valley.

The racers had to drive 509km from Arequipa in Peru to Arica in Chile with the special section of 172km.

Kazakhstan crew of Arthur Ardavichus, Aleksey Nikizhev and Nurlan Turlubayev finished the fifth stage at the 18th place 25 minutes behind the stage’s leader Hans Stacey from Holland. However, this result allowed the crew to gain only 3 lines in the general rankings: Kazakhstan crew was ranked 15th after the fifth stage.

Kazakhsatan’s unlucky Andery Cherednikov and Albert Horn crew on GForce offroader failed to repair their clutch and get to the fifth stage. They got "expulsion" as a reason in the rankings table of the fifth stage and had to withdraw from the race.

The fifth stage was tainted by a fatal car accident 10km from Chile border. One of the taxis smashed into the race’s escort cars. The second taxi lost control, as the driver unsuccessfully tried to avoid the collision. As a result, the car flipped over several times. The accident claimed two lives and injured 7 people. According to the organizers, they were delivered to the hospital of Tacna in the south of Peru.

Kazakhstan crews in Stage 5 Rankings:

Truck category

Car category

Quote of the stage: “It was a very nice stage and we took care of our truck and I felt fairly good. I have a new Hans system and I didn't feel my neck as much. It's not hurting like yesterday so I can drive normally. I'm so happy to have won the scratch again. I've been so close, ten times, but it's nice. I don't know if I've won the scratch, but we'll have to wait. But we made very good time.” – Hans Stacey (Truck)

Dakar 2013 – Stage 5 – Car/Bike Stage Summary


Stage 6: Arica-Calama

The first special stage held in Chile took competitors back to the Atacama Desert where they were faced with sand and dunes for two thirds of the distance. But two specific sections of the stage were timed: the latter allowed them to rediscover fesh fesh, which was expected to enthuse them. Overall, the day was very long and the competitors’ bodies started to suffer from the lack of sleep, particularly for those who experienced incidents.

The racers had to drive 767km from Arica to Calama with the special section of 454km.

Unfortunately, the truck of Kazakhstan’s Astana team withdrew from Dakar-2013 during the sixth stage because of an engine failure.

After 6 check points the Kazakhstan truck was preliminarily ranked 11th being only 20 minutes behind the stage’s leader Eduard Nikolayev from Russia when the truck’s engine failed. This wasn’t the first manifestation of the problems: Kazakhstan team was experiencing problems, especially turbocharger malfunctioning, from the very beginning of the race. This caused the crew to lose a lot of time during stages.

“Unfortunately, these were the last seconds of our truck’s life today. It worked well, it did a good job. But apart from the podium, one has to know the bitterness of defeat. This is a necessity, this is sport, this is Dakar. We have to be stronger!” Arthur Ardavichus said.

Ardavichus’ truck was Kazakhstan’s second crew that withdrew from Dakar this year. The crew of Andrey Cherednikov and Albert Horn was also experiencing technical problems with their GForce offroader from the very first stage. The pilot, however, managed to get to the finish of several stages and every time there was hope that the car would not fail completely. They crew withdrew from the fifth stage after their clutch failed in 100 km to the finish of the fourth stage.

The crew of Andrey Cherednikov and Albert Horn. Photo courtesy of RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate

The crew of Andrey Cherednikov and Albert Horn. Photo courtesy of RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate

Speaking of the sixth stage of Dakar the pilot of another offroader crew of Astana, Aidyn Rakhimbayev driving MEBAR M440 (race number 410) said: “Unfortunately, our favorite, Arthur Ardavichus, did not finish the race. It’s a pity. The cars are metal and they break. Astana now has two crews at Dakar: numbers 409 and 410. We realize the responsibility and understand the difficulties that lay ahead of us.”

The crew of Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Gabdulla Ashimov. Photo courtesy of RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate

The crew of Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Gabdulla Ashimov. Photo courtesy of RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate

Kazakhstan crews Aidyn Rakhimbayev-Gabdulla Ashimov (410) and Bauyrzhan Issabayev-Dmitriy Yugai (409) finished the sixth stage at 32nd and 41st places, correspondingly. As for the general rankings, the crews are ranked 65th and 50th, correspondingly.

The crew of Bauyrzhan Issabayev and Dmitriy Yugai. Photo courtesy of RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate

The crew of Bauyrzhan Issabayev and Dmitriy Yugai. Photo courtesy of RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate

Kazakhstan crews in Stage 6 Rankings:

Truck category

Car category

Quote of the stage: “I've had a lot of problems since the start of the rally, and today just took the biscuit! Something must have broken in the engine, but I don't know exactly what. It just happened all of a sudden. There wasn't any temperature warning or anything. But on the whole, I'm feeling positive and happy. We knew what happened was always a possibility: it's a new vehicle which hasn't driven that much. It all happened very quickly. But it was worth coming here with this concept. The proof is that Nasser (Al Attiyah) is battling for victory. I hope the experience will be useful for the future even if I'm not sure whether I'll come back.” – Carlos Sainz (Car)

Dakar 2013 – Stage 6 – Stage Summary

The rankings of Kazakhstan crews after Stage 6

The crew of Bauyrzhan Issabayev and Dmitriy Yugai:

The crew of Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Gabdulla Ashimov:


Bike 159 – All for the special Olympics

That he's thrilled with his Dakar debut after the first three stages is something that jumps out at you. "That part on the beach as we came into Nazca was exceedingly beautiful!" Jorge Aguilar is a Salvadoran business owner and a sportsman through-and-through. Nothing out of the ordinary, it seems. It's his capacity to step up to the plate and get things moving which sets him apart. An inner fire blazes in this owner of a big recycling business which brings together work and the promotion of sport. Not only he sponsors a cycling squad (Bicimanía) and a football team (Invema), he also works with ten of his colleagues in El Salvador by recovering their inorganic waste in exchange for managing their sporting requirements. But the most symbolic part of Jorge's commitment is his selfless support for the Olimpíadas Especiales foundation, which brings together about a hundred children and grown-ups whose disabilities don't stop them from practising sport. "I've always been mindful of these problems and I'm happy to give them the opportunity to practise sport." This is why Jorge pledged to donate one US dollar for each kilometre he rides. He smiles in the Nazca bivouac: "I've already got 1,000 kilometers under my belt..."

Jorge Aguilar. Photo courtesy of

Jorge Aguilar. Photo courtesy of

Quad 251 – Maffei: The Dakar is the Dakar!

He started the day 9'24" behind Marcos Patronelli and finished it a whopping 1 h 08' back. The third stage of his third Dakar may have cut short Tomás Maffei's hitherto unstoppable progression, at least for now. With two stage victories in 2011 and four stage wins and third place overall in 2012, the Argentinean was aiming higher this year. But he was forced to lower his ambitions from km 20 of today's special: "First I had a water leak, so I stopped. Then an oil leak, which didn't stop. I kept my cool and patched it up. I finished more or less in good shape. I already ran into some trouble in the first stage, but today...". Tomás isn't ready to give up just yet and believes he can turn things around in the fourth stage. The time lost is a wholly different matter: "It's true that it'll be difficult to go for something now, maybe a stage. But I'm in the Dakar and I want to have fun."

Tomas Maffei. Photo courtesy of

Tomas Maffei. Photo courtesy of

Bike 116 – Thrills and spills for José Israel Borrell

He lives in Tumbes, at the northern-most point of Peru and the dunes on the way to Chile are not really his specialist subject. He managed to make it through them, but for him the most stressful points of the day were not when he kept falling and tasting the Peruvian sand. In Arequipa, at the end of the day, when he had finished with stage, it was not really sand which pre-occupied him. Not specifically, anyway, since it was the sand of the beach rather than the dunes that loomed large in his mind: “I've never been so scared. I was riding at perhaps 60 kmph, but when the Prince overtook me, it shook me to the bone!” By the Prince, he means the man who went on to win the day's stage and blew past José Israel Borrell like a hurricaine; a rather anxious baptism of fire for the rookie: “Afterwards, Nani Roma and a buggy overtook me. It was impressive. It's the first time I've felt like that. I'm not used to it, so yes, I guess I was scared”. The day already started with thrills and spills for José Israel who had difficulty getting stuck into the beginning of the special: “The first kilometres were hard. There was fesh-fesh and a lot of dust, but no wind to clear the view – all that in a sort of corridor, as well…” And the rally is only a quarter of the way through…

Jos? Israel Borrell. Photo courtesy of

José Israel Borrell. Photo courtesy of

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