Kazakhstan's Arthur Ardavichus to drive different truck at Dakar-201431 january 2013, 15:02
Kazakhstan’s Arthur Ardavichus, Astana crew’s truck racer, said that he will drive a different truck at the next Dakar Rally Raid.
Ardavichus's truck crew won the third place in the Dakar-2012 Rally Raid in 2012, but failed to repeat their success this year and withdrew from the race after the sixth day.
This year truck team consisted of pilot Arthur Ardavichus, navigator Aleksey Nikizhev and mechanic Nurlan Turlybayev.
Arthur Ardavichus told why the truck failed at a special press-conference dedicated to the Dakar-2013 results:
“The Dakar-2013 is over and I am happy that one of our crews managed to reach the finish. Baurzhan Issabayev did a great job. This raid was his debut (Dakar) race. And he succeeded it in together with his navigator Dmitry Yugai. I have said this many times already: Dakar is specifically designed to make sure that as few vehicles as possible reach the finish. We have encountered some technical difficulties this year, but our physical and moral shapes were alright. I am happy that Kazakhstan flag appeared at the podium and our work was not in vain,” the driver said.
Question: What happened to your racing truck?
Answer: What concerns our crew, we were working as much and long as we could. After the second stage our truck started failing us. Electronics started malfunctioning, and only manufacturer plant's mechanics are able to deal with that, but we had none in our crew. The engine was totally dead, it simply fell apart at some point. Every day of the race before our withdrawal we were trying to galvanize it, and we were experienced huge engine power losses at the most arduous parts of the route. But we kept pushing on and managed to get to the finish every time even in spite of having to repair our truck 3-4 times during each stage. But the withdrawal was inevitable.
Arthur Ardavichus. ©Vladimir Dmitriyev
Q: Have you already figured out why the vehicle was behaving this way?
A: We haven't yet made a comprehensive analysis of what was happening to the engine and why. What concerns our technical support at this race, fingerprinting will not help change the fact the we withdrew from the race. I have been working for KAMAZ-Master for four years. I gained huge experience over the years and I had good teachers. I wouldn't say anything bad about this big family.
Q: The team has singed a memorandum of cooperation with Czech Dakar Team a couple of days ago...
A: My crew will be driving a different truck for at least three years. This will be a truck specially designed for my crew, a prototype based on DAF truck with CAT engine. This vehicle is tough, reliable and it will be at our disposal before the beginning of the Silk Way Rally where we are going to test it. Our new partners will also provide technical support. Czech Dakar Team is a Czech team and the largest team in the world, they usually put forth seven racing trucks for the Dakar Rally.
Astana crew. ©Vladimir Dmitriyev
Q: Will there be any changed in your crew?
A: We will continue working with Aleksey Nikizhev in the next three years, but we will have a different mechanic. We are asking our partners to provide us with a manufacturer-plant's mechanic who will be very familiar with the trucks characteristics. Language is the only problem here, But I will be learning Czech words.
Q: Was the early withdrawal a bid disappointment?
A: We have already left the feelings behind. Many are used to seeing victories only, but there also has to be a path to victory. This time the race didn't work out. But we have already started preparing for the next Dakar. We have already drafted a plan of preparations to make sure that we will put force a full team for the race. We will approach with more experience and energy and show some beautiful racing in 2014.
Q: Many have criticized the crews that failed to reach the finish...
A: Unfortunately few people understand what the Dakar really means. There are dozens of breakdowns and withdrawals at every Dakar. And no one keeps a record of how many pilots end up with permanent damages after these rallies. This is a very dangerous and important event. There is no novices and people who show up at the start are carefully preselected. I have read the comments saying that our pilots didn't reach the finish because that was their first Dakar and they were not professionals. Those who think this way should try and drive through Dakar themselves and see how far a distance they can go. Our guys were fighting until the end and reached the finish!