In July, the crew of the Russian team of racers “KAMAZ-master” won the final stage of the “Silk Way” rally-raid in the truck category. Previously, the team won 19 times the most famous rally marathon - the “Dakar Rally”, and was recognized as the world leader in its class.
Today, the “KAMAZ” brand is known in Turkmenistan and all over the world, including due to the success of the “KAMAZ-master” team, which, with the support of the plant and partners, has been creating racing trucks for more than 30 years.
The official creation date of the team is July 17, 1988. In the first rally raids, the riders used practical production models of the brand's vehicles, but by the mid-90s it became clear that only sports prototypes, only remotely similar to ordinary road cars, could bring victories.
The path behind the wheel of a racing “KAMAZ” for many professionals begins in early childhood with ... karting! To find suitable candidates for the team, “KAMAZ-master” has programs to support karting and buggy. Trained from childhood, young guys gradually join the team at various training camps and tests, absorbing knowledge and experience.
The best students first become mechanics, and only then, if the management considers that it is “time”, they get behind the wheel. The fact is that a motorsport truck is much more expensive than passenger racing cars. Only the most experienced and talented racers are put behind the wheel. Therefore, all drivers are quite old - the youngest, Airat Mardeev, is 35 years old now.
One of the components of the success of the “KAMAZ-master” crew can be considered the competent organization of the school of young racers, but technical preparation for the races is no less important. The “Dakar” regulations change frequently, sometimes even at the most inopportune moment. The organizers of the marathon do not like the dominance of one crew, but the Russian team finds the best solutions every time.
For instance, “KAMAZ-master” constantly reduces the working volume of the engine, which forces it to change its partner or suppliers. Once upon a time, “kamazovites” used huge YaMZ engines - a V8 with a volume of up to 18 liters and even a 26-liter V12. In 2013, the restriction forced the switch to an imported Liebherr V8.
Another new truck had to be created for the “Dakar” 2019. He received the index 43509, and most importantly, the kamazovites workers were again forced to look for a new engine - already with a volume of up to 13 liters. They became the Chinese DCEC (Dongfeng Cummins Engine Company), which is also used on construction machinery.
Serial motors at the “KAMAZ-master” factory are subjected to serious forcing - modernization in order to increase their torque and maximum speed.
The morale of the “KAMAZ-master” team perfectly characterizes the deed of the rider Eduard Nikolaev at the 11th stage of the “Dakar” 2022. Seeing a colleague Dmitry Sotnikov stuck on a dune, the kamaz driver could drive past, because two more team members were driving behind. However, Eduard helped Sotnikov, and thus, if he did not give his colleague the final victory, then at least deprived himself of a good chance to snatch the top line.
“We help our comrades - this is the tradition of the team”, Nikolaev explained after the finish in an interview with reporters. - Sometimes you need to forget about your result. The situation was such that we have an internal struggle among the crews, it's great that the leadership gives us such an opportunity, but it must be correct and, as they say, so that later it would not be embarrassing to look into each other's eyes. Many people ask why “KAMAZ” always wins. This situation shows that we are a team, and we are working for a team result, and who will be the first, second and third is already secondary”.
Photo source: kamazmaster.ru.
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