Kazakhstan's crew finishes first after third stage at Africa Eco Race-2015

05 января 2015, 15:54
Off-road vehicle of Yuriy Sazonov and Arslan Sakhimov. Photo courtesy of the official website of Africa Eco Race-2015.
Off-road vehicle of Yuriy Sazonov and Arslan Sakhimov. Photo courtesy of the official website of Africa Eco Race-2015.

Kazakhstan's crew composed of Yuriy Sazonov and Arslan Sakhimov has become the leader in the general classification at the Africa Eco Race-2015 rally-marathon after the Stage 3 that ended on January 1 in Assa, a small town in southern Morocco, Tengrinews reports citing Vesti.kz.

During the third stage of the race, the contestants had to drive 525 kilometers from Taugonite to Assa, 433 of them were special sections.

Photo courtesy of the Africa Eco Race-2015 official website.

Sazonov and Sakhimov (Hummer H3, 216th starting number) covered the distance in 5 hours 29 minutes and 16 seconds. While leading in the general standings, they came out third in their T1 group (significantly modified all-terrain vehicles) and sixth in the 'absolute'. 

Meanwhile, the best result in both groups was shown by the Belgian crew made up of Jacques Loomans and Frits Driesmans (Toyota Hilux Overdrive, 200th starting number) that is representing Loomans Racing team. The winning time was 5 hours 17 minutes and 33 seconds.

However, in the general classification, this team was third, while the Czech crew of Miroslav Zapletal and Bartlomiej Boba representing Offroadsport team (Hummer H3, 202nd starting number) was second.

"When we arrived at the start, we found that antifreeze was seeping. We started (the race), but then immediately stopped to let mechanics inspect the car, but they found nothing, and antifreeze was still dripping. Since we failed to locate the problem, we decided to carry on with the race. But because of this stop, four cars were ahead of us. Then, we tried to go at our own pace, we drove through dunes very carefully and as a result showed a very good result. As for the stage itself, it is the longest one in the entire marathon. Road was diverse: graves, sand and very large dunes,” Yuri Sazonov shared about the third stage.

He continued by describing the tactics for the next stage of the rally-marathon: "We took the pace that we interned to keep during the entire race. We are not going to reduce it. If any of the competitors raise the speed, let them. We will keep driving at our own pace to keep the car in good shape and to get to the finish. Our task so far is to reach the finish, that is, we want to keep the car unbroken, but also to maintain the position. Our opponents are very serious, and we know they will accelerate. Now the task is to race at our own pace, to start carefully and maintain the speed without breaking the car. We need to do so at least until the tenth day, and only then can we make new plans, set tasks, and accelerate. "

The only Kazakh crew that is in T2 group (all-terrain vehicles with small difference from production models) comprising Marat Abykayev and Andrew Chipenko (Nissan Patrol, 217th starting number) covered the distance in 7 hours, 38 minutes and 34 seconds. Kazakh racers representing Off Road Kazakhstan finished third in T2 group and 22nd in the 'absolute'.

It took 5 hours 46 minutes and 53 seconds for Andrei Cherednikov and Dmitry Tsyro (Hummer H3, 218 the starting number) representing Off Road Kazakhstan to finish the race. As a result, they came out seventh in T1 group and 11th in the 'absolute'.

Kanat Shagirov and Alexander Moroz ((Toyota Hilux Overdrive, 215th starting number) representing Kazakhstan's Mobilex Racing Team finished second in T1 group and fourth in the overall. Their time was 5 hours, 26 minutes and 7 seconds.

The only motorcycle racer from Kazakhstan Vadim Pritulyak (104th starting number) from Mobilex Racing Team finished fourth in his +450 group and 20th overall.

After dealing with the third stage the racers had to overcome another 9 stages driving through Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal. The ceremonial finish will take place on January 11, 2015 at Lake Retba in Dakar (Senegal).

By Assel Satubaldina

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