On January 22, Moscow and the city of Naberezhnye Chelny in Russia’s constituent republic of Tatarstan met the team KAMAZ Master, the winner of the 2020 Dakar marathon rally. The Russian race drivers took the first two places is the truck category. Andrey Karginov won the rally-raid, and the second place in the general classification was awarded to Anton Shibalov's crew.
Saudi Arabia played host to the Dakar race this time. The most difficult marathon through the sands and dunes, mountains and dry river beds, which lasted almost two weeks, ended with a convincing victory of the Russian team on January, 17. The last 167 km of the special stage were more or less easy to overcome for our sportsmen. The time vs. the competitors gained at the previous stages of the race allowed Karginov and Shibalov to avoid the unjustified risks at the final stage.
"I am happy that we managed to bring joy to our numerous fans and the partners of our team,” said Vladimir Chagin, the team leader. “Winning was not easy, but every member of the KAMAZ Master team made every effort to achieve it. The Dakar Rally on the Arabian Peninsula has impressed us with interesting routes and breathtaking struggle. It is my sincere pleasure to congratulate everyone who kept track of our performance and helped our team to get ready for the most prestigious race," said team leader Vladimir Chagin.
Pilot Andrey Karginov made a point that it was “important for the team to confirm the championship of KAMAZ Master in the Dakar truck category and to show the advantage of Russian vehicles in this new region for the rally-marathon.”
In this context, it is worthwhile recalling the appearance of the team from Naberezhnye Chelny in world motorsport. Back in 1988, three off-road trucks of a brand almost unknown on the European continent arrived from Russia at the start of the Jelcz Rally held in Poland. None of the rally frequenters (both sportsmen and fans) could hazard a guess then that the newcomers would dare to aspire to award-winning places. At that time, everyone made an error: the debutant team won silver of the race.
The Russian team KAMAZ Master started its thorny path to conquering the Dakar Rally 30 years ago. Already in 1996, it won this most difficult race for the first time. Since then, our sportsmen have taken part 29 times in these prestigious competitions. And now, the Russian team has made it to the top tier already for the 17th time.
President Vladimir Putin congratulated the KAMAZ Master team on its victory in the truck category of the 2020 Dakar marathon rally. He highlighted perseverance and team spirit of the Russian race drivers. The telegram of congratulations also said that the KAMAZ Master team once again "demonstrated the large capabilities and high potential of the domestic automotive vehicles.”