Racing: Astana racers left for Africa Race 26 декабря 2012, 17:24
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Photo by Yaroaslav Radlovskiy©
The crew of Kazakhstan team Astana has departed to Europe for Africa Race, Vesti.kz reports.
Kazakhstan’s Astana is represented by 4 maintenance vehicles and 3 crews: Marat Abykayev and Zhanat Zhalimbetov in the first crew, Kanat Shagirov and Aleksander Moroz in the second crew and Yuriy Sazonov and Arslan Sakhimov in the third crew.
Aleksander Linnik, who was responsible for medical preparation of Kazakhstan racers, said that the race’s organizer Jean Louis Schlesser is the main favorite of the race. “Our guys are good as well: they are experienced. We hope that at least one of our crews would show good results this year. All of our guys are strong and the team is in good spirit,” he said.
“The cars are fully ready in line with all the rules registered in this race. These are sport cars, absolutely non-standard, modern and ready for any obstacles. Our cars will make it through the route for sure and I think they will bring back some good results,” chief mechanic of Astana Andrei Chipenko said.
He believes that weather could become one of the major problems for the racers. Outside temperature reaches 25 degrees above zero during the day, while the car cabin heats to over 40. Despite of the fact that the cars have no ACs, the racers have to wear special overalls and helmets. According to Chipenko, the pilots normally lose 5-7 kg during such races.
“There can be special problems in the sands of West Sahara, as the sand are drifting and races lose time there, if their cars get stuck or even flip over,” the navigator of the second crew Aleksander Moroz said.
The racers will take off on December 27 in France. They will drive to Spain, Morocco and Mauritania. The finish is planned in the capital of Senegal, Dakar. The total length of Africa Race is over 3 thousand km. This means that the racers will have to drive almost 500km a day. The navigators will receive the road book only one day before the start.