Racing: Arthur Ardavichus's truck almost inflames at Dakar 09 января 2014, 12:47
Photo courtesy of press-service of the Astana Motorsports
Kazakhstan's Astana Motorsport Team is steadily advancing in the overall ranking of Dakar 2014. All three Kazakhstan’s crews have moved several lines up in the general ranking of the marathon rally after the third day of the race, Tengrinews reports citing Vesti.kz. Arthur Ardavichus’ crew - Arthur Ardavichus (pilot, Kazakhstan), Alexey Nikizhev (navigator, Kazakhstan) and Radim Kaplanek (mechanic, the Czech Republic), Tatra truck # 542 - finished the third stage in the 23rd place and gained the 22th place in the general ranking after three stages of the rally. Ardavichus from Kazakhstan is a well known truck racer who finished Dakar in the 8th place in 2011 and then in the 3rd place in 2012. Speaking about his year's third stage he said: “I think this was one of the hardest special stages at the Dakar rally, it had everything: twisted and very narrow rocky mountain serpentines, where even a small mistake could become critical. We tried to drive fast and carefully, but we still ruined one tire and had to spend 15 minutes replacing it. "Besides, he got a small mechanical defect that led us to larger problems. Our rear brake shoes got jammed when we were in that difficult bottleneck. This made driving harder and impeded the vehicle's progress. I first thought that we were getting stuck because of the deep fesh-fesh (a fine dust or sand that looks like solid ground, but behaves like a soft mud). Then then it turned out that we had jammed rear braks and the drums were running hot. When we were out of the fesh-fesh zone and the vehicle stopped, I realized that the truck was burning. The fire did not yet spread to the tires, but the break-pads were melting. We had a bad scare. We jumped out of the truck and managed to extinguish the flame. We fixed the vehicle, but lost almost half an our. Anyway we have a lot of battles to fight and a lot of days of hard work ahead of us,” Arthur Ardavichus, the bronze winner of Dakar 2012, said. Kazakhstan's car crew of Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Vladimir Demyanenko (#342) finished the third stage in the 20th place and gained the 20th place in the general ranking of the race. “We are satisfied with our 20th place in the third stage, but we met with some incidents on the way to the finish. Somewhere in the middle of the section after the kilometer 122, a buggy that got lost and did not see us nearly rammed our car at an average speed of 40-60 km/h. It was a miracle that we didn’t flip over: we were driving on two wheels instead of four for about 10 meters after the collision,” pilot Rakhimbayev said. “The track was short but very difficult and dangerous. We had three spares, but did not ruin any tires because we tried to be very careful, under the impression of the yesterday accident of our teammates (their car burned to ashes),” Demyanenko, the navigator, said. Kazakhstan's other car crew of Denis Berezovsky and Ignat Falkov (#413) completed the third stage in the 63rd place and moved up to the 57th line in the overall. “It was a killer special stage with the route running along river beds. It was a terribly tooth-grinding race with the car bouncing on bumps all the time,” pilot Denis Berezovsky said. “The day was fine, despite the rocky and hard track. The special stage was difficult. We overtook a lot of cars in our attempt to regain our position, but then got stuck in the fesh-fesh zone. However, we had a successful finish,” Ignat Falkov said. During the 4th stage on January 8 the Astana Motorsports crews have to overcome double the amount of heat, rocks and riverbeds: the 868 kilometer stage had a 657 kilometer long special section.