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28 Dec 2016

MAZ race trucks shipped to Argentina, heading for Dakar start line

MINSK, 29 December (BelTA) – The race trucks of Belarus’ MAZ-SPORTavto team have been shipped to Argentina and are now on the way to the Dakar start line, BelTA learned from the team.

It took almost a month for the many-tonne vehicles to cross the Atlantic from Europe to South America. “Despite the long time at sea, the trucks are in a good condition. They have not been damaged. We have had no trouble starting them,” Dmitry Boboryko, the head of the maintenance crew said.

The MAZ-SPORTavto team are on their way from Buenos Aires to Paraguay's capital of Asuncion. The race trucks will travel a distance of over 1,000km. “When we get to the destination, we will check the trucks once again, fix small problems if any. This will take us little time. Technically, the vehicles are all ready,” Dmitry Boboryko added.

The MAZ team includes 31 members (three pilots, three navigators and the technical maintenance crew). The experienced Dakar riders Sergei Vyazovich and Alexander Vasilevsky will be joined by Belarus’ three-time drifting champion Alexei Vishnevsky. The young pilot has already proven his ability to race a heavy truck during this year’s Silk Way Rally.

Two trucks of the MAZ-SPORTavto team will test new engines built by a Czech company using Caterpillar engine parts. Alexander Vasilevsky’s truck will run with its original Tutaev-made engine.

The 2017 Dakar Rally will span Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay from 2 to 14 January 2017. The racers will cover a total distance of some 9,000km.

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