Kazakhstan's crew in Top 10 of Dakar 2015 20 января 2015, 20:17
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The world‘s most prestigious Dakar rally has finished on January 18, Tengrinews reports. During these two weeks, the participants crossed more than 9,000 km driving through Argentina, Chili and Bolivia.
Two weeks ago, four crews from Astana Motorsports team came to South America to take part in Dakar. Two Kazakhstan’s crews were in T1 production class (significantly modified all-terrain vehicles): the crew of Aydin Rakhimbayev and navigator Anton Nikolaev (#329, MINI) and the crew of Bauyrzhan Issabayev and navigator Vladimir Demyanenko (#340, Toyota Hilux Overdrive). Pilot Denis Berezovskiy and navigator Ignat Falkov (#392, Nissan Patrol) were in T2 class (all-terrain vehicles with small difference from production models), while Tatra of Artur Ardavichus, navigator Alexei Nikizhev and mechanic Daniel Kozlovskiy (#515) competed in T4 class.
Unfortunately, Denis Berezovskiy along with Ignat Falkov dropped out of the rally during the early stages, because of the failure of their car’s engine. “When there were 100 km left to the finish of the second stage, our air filter tore and started letting dust into the engine and the engine failed,” Berezovskiy explained, “We tried to get out of there, but had to spend the night in the desert. Our assistance came only at 9 a.m., but because there was an impassable fesh-fesh section, the assistant car could not pull us out. An assistant truck came an hour later and pulled us out and onto the road. This is Dakar.”
The other three Kazakh crews continued the race.
Even just reaching the finish line is considered an achievement at Dakar, because the race is very complex. But the three crews not only reached the finish, but also showed good results.
The crew of Aydin Rakhimbayev and navigator Anton Nikolaev showed the best result among the Kazakhstan crews - they finished the rally in the ninth place in the overall rankings. “The rally was difficult, sometimes unbearable,” Rakhimbayev commented, “But at the same time it was amazing. Kazakhstan is in Top 10! It is a great honour to hold such a high position. I am happy. We are happy that our country is among the ten best ones at the most gruelling rally!”
Rakhimbayev, who is a businessman in the construction industry back home in Kazakhstan, impressed everyone last year, when he debuted at Dakar and clinched the 17th line in the overall standings driving his Toyota Hilux. After getting into Top 10, Rakhimbayev’s goal regarding Dakar has changed. “We are in Top 10. We are planning to enter Top 5 next year. It will be great,” he said.
Aydin Rakhimbayev and Anton Nikolaev. Photo courtesy of Astana Motorsports.
Mini – X Raid team director Sven Quandt was also happy with the results of the Kazakh crew. “I am more than satisfied with the results of Aydin Rakhimbayev and Anton Nikolaev,” he said, “I have to say these guys did more than I expected. Good pilot and navigator bring to a great result. Our preparations for Dakar-2016 start today. Now our bar is raised - Top 5.”
Sven Quandt and Aydin Rakhimbayev. Photo courtesy of Astana Motorsports.
Another Kazakhstan’s crew of Bauyrzhan Issabayev and Vladimir Demyanenko came 17th in the overall standings of Dakar. “We are full of emotions. We did it. We reached the finish line,” Issabayev shared his impression about the rally, “The goal is achieved. I would like to thank Samruk Kazyna National Welfare Fund, our team, relatives and fans. We were able to feel your support throughout the race and you shared these feelings with us.“
Bauyrzhan Issabayev and Vladimir Demyanenko. Photo courtesy of Astana Motorsports.
Despite the difficulties during the rally, the crew of Artur Ardavichus, navigator Alexei Nikizhev and mechanic Daniel Kozlovskiy managed to make it to the finish and moreover, they managed to get the 22nd line in the overall standings. “We are able to demonstrate some results,” Nikizhev said, “Today our results are not the highest ones, but our level is the level of good teams. Most importantly that technique stays and it will not let us down, and then our results will not be long in coming.”
Kazakhstan’s drivers are now back home. They were met with a great warmth in the airport of Astana on January 19.
“Finally, we are at home with our families, friends and partners,” Aydin Rakhimbayev said, “20 hours of flight from hot Argentina and we are here, in Astana. Almost a day ago, we were standing on the podium in Buenos Aires. Impressions are overwhelmed. It will probably take us some time to realize what has been done and on what height of the podium we were standing. I am very happy and proud we had the honor of raising the flag of Kazakhstan at such a big and important podium as Dakar-2015. I am grateful to all the fans for their trust and support. We felt this support at the other side of the globe.”
Manager of Astana Motorsports Kairat Zhumagatov also congratulated the racers: "At this Dakar, more than half of the participants did not reach the finish line. It is a victory to finish Dakar. The result of our team is impressive. The ambitious goals we had, especially regarding the T1 category, have been achieved. Astana was represented at a decent level. Thank you guys for this victory!"
Aydin Rakhimbayev, manager of Astana Motorsports Kairat Zhumagatov, Bauyrzhan Issabayev. Photo courtesy of Astana Motorsports.
Aydin Rakhimbayev. Photo courtesy of Astana Motorsports.
Aydin Rakhimbayev. Photo courtesy of Astana Motorsports.
By Assel Satubaldina