A caravan of Astana Dakar team vehicles has been shipped off from the port of Havre, France, to South America after they a technical check. According to Astana Dakar manager Antanas Yuknyavichus, the team is ready for the
Dakar 2014 marathon rally and the vehicles are fully prepared for this prestigious race. "Vehicles are already on the way to South America; they past the technical check," he said.
The way to Havre wasn't easy. Bad weather, rain and snow in the central part of France made the life of Dakar participants harder. But everyone got along. 670 vehicles, including cars and trucks of sports and technical support, media and organizers, took their places in the lower deck of the Grande Roma ferry that will moor in EuroAmerica port not far from Buenos Aires after a three-week journey across the Atlantic Ocean. The vehicles' arrival is expected on December 24.
Four crews of Astana Dakar will participate in the marathon rally this year. Kazakhstan will be represented by three off-roaders and one truck.
Pilot Aidyn Rakhimbayev and navigator Vladimir Demyanenko will compete on Proto Overdrive #356 in the off-roaders class.
Pilot Baurzhan Issabayev and navigator Gabdulla Ashimov will drive in the same class - their number is #368.
Pilot Denis Berezovsky and his navigator Ignat Falkov will be driving Nissan #413.
The crew of Artur Ardavishus, navigator Alexey Nikizhev and mechanic Radim Kaplanek will drive an absolutely new Tatra truck with the starting number #542.
Despite the disappointing starting numbers (the crews start the race far from the first dozen) the team is ambitious about the race. "My approach to this event is philosophical. The race will show who is who. Of course these numbers mean some loss of time, especially on such a hard track. But my crew and Baurzhan Issayev's crew entered the Top 10 at the last three races of the World Championship stages in Qatar, Russia and Morocco and that is why we expected better staring numbers. However, we were given numbers 56 and 68 to start with. We are not very happy about it. But that is OK, the race will show our worth," Rakhimbayev said.
Dakar Rally is held in Latin America for the sixth time. Latin American countries Argentina, Bolivia and Chili will host the Rally Dakar 2014. The rally will be held on January 5-18, 2014. The start takes place in the third most populous city of Argentina Rosario on January 5. The rest day is scheduled for January 11 in Salta city. The total length of the route makes around 9 500 kilometers before the racers will reach the finish in Valparaíso, Chile, on January 18. The route characteristics and competitors' list of the Rally Dakar 2014 promise a lot of adrenaline buzz.