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Opinions & Interviews

28 Jan 2020

Belarus’ result at Dakar 2020 hailed as successful

Belarus’ result at Dakar 2020 hailed as successful
Siarhei Viazovich

MINSK, 28 January (BelTA) – Belarus’ overall result at the Dakar 2020 in Saudi Arabia can be considered a good one, leader of Belarus’ MAZ-SPORTauto Team Siarhei Viazovich told a press conference hosted by BelTA on 28 January.

“We expected many climatic extremes. But the temperatures were comfortable: about 5 degrees Celsius at night and some 30 degrees Celsius in daytime,” said Siarhei Viazovich. “The race was full of special sections. We started with high-speed and rocky sections, and went on to off-road and dunes. All MAZ trucks placed well in the final standings. This is a good result for the Belarusian team.”

The team leader said that Aliaksei Vishneuski had significantly improved his position compared to the previous Dakar campaigns.

According to Deputy Head of MAZ-SPORTauto Team Grigory Patskevich, the trucks are updated after each race. “There are always some details that need improvement. The next step we want to do is to replace suspension. We will test various options and fit the trucks with the one we choose before the next Dakar rally. We also plan to add horsepower to the engine of the hooded MAZ truck,” he said.

Siarhei Viazovich’s crew of the Belarusian MAZ-SPORTauto Team landed third overall at Dakar 2020 which finished in Qiddiya on 17 January. The Belarusian MAZ lost 2:04.42 to the race winner Andrei Karginov from the Russian Kamaz-Master who cleared 12 stages in 46:33.36. Kamaz-Master’s Anton Shibalov was second (42:26 behind the winning time). The Belarusian crew piloted by Aliaksei Vishneuski came in eighth. His teammate Aleksandr Vasilevski was 12th.

Dakar Rally took place in the Middle East after 11 years in South America. Saudi Arabia will be hosting the marathon rally for at least 5 years in a row from 2020. This year’s rally featured 351 crews: 170 motorcycles and quad bikes, 134 cars and buggies, and 47 trucks. The rally covered more than 7,800km, including 5,000km of special sections.

In 2018, Siarhei Viazovich’s crew won silver. In the same year Belarus' MAZ was first at the Turkmen Desert Race. In 2019, Belarus' MAZ won the Morocco Desert Challenge.

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