4 Kazakhstan crews start Dakar Rally 2014 06 января 2014, 16:01
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Photo a courtesy of Astana Motorsports
Four Astana Motorsports crews from Astana Presidential Sports Club have started the Dakar Rally 2014, a prestigious annual off-road race, Tengrinews reports, citing Dakar website. It is the fourth year when the 2 weeks rally takes place in South America. The 2014 route crosses Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The organizers decided to make the rally more challenging from the very beginning by cancelling the pre-prologue. More than 400 participants took part in an organizational briefing where they got the road-books of the first stage to start the race. The opening ceremony took place near the National Flag Memorial of Argentina in Rosario. In the truck ranking of the stage, Arthur Ardavichus’ crew - Arthur Ardavichus (pilot, Kazakhstan), Alexey Nikizhev (navigator, Kazakhstan) and Radim Kaplanek (mechanic, the Czech Republic), # 542 - took the 16th place by driving the distance in 03:03:14 and losing 16 minutes and 22 seconds to the leader of the stage in trucks class - Kamaz crew of Mardeev, Belyaev and Israfilov from Russia. Ardavichus from Kazakhstan had an impressive debut in the Dakar 2011 edition that he finished in the 8th place. The next year he improved his standing even further astonishing the frequenters of the race with this 3rd place at the Dakar-2012 Rally Raid. Both years he drove Kamaz truck. But in 2013 the truck failed him and had to withdraw from the race after the sixth day. So this year he returned with a new Tatra truck. Ardavichus says that the truck's engine is more powerful than the previous Kamaz one, but the Tatra track has an independent suspension - Tatra's brand design concept - that takes some getting used to. However Ardavichus is optimistic about the outcomes of the 2014 race. In cars class, Kazakhstan's Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Vladimir Demyanenko (#342) started off on a Toyota Hilux and finished 19th (02:32:00) 11 minutes and 24 second behind the leader of the stage Portuguese Carlos Sousa. The second Kazakhstan car crew of Baurzhan Issabayev and Gabdulla Ashimov (#368) finished in the 31st place (17:55 behind the leader), while the third crew of Denis Berezovsky and Ignat Falkov (#413) came 71st (43:52 behind the leader). Berezovsky debuted along with Ardavichus on Kamaz truck in 2011 and finished 8th. However later he switched from trucks to cars. The biggest transcontinental rally started on January 5 and will finish on January 18 in Valparaiso, Chili. The first stage of the race was 809 kilometers long and covered the distance between Rosario and San Lois.
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