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16 November 2017 → Racers "MAZ-SPORT Auto" about the plans for "Dakar-2018": they intend to get into the top 10

The MAZ-SPORT Auto team are planning to compete for a place in the top 10 anniversary rally-raid "Dakar-2018". As the "Minsk-Novosti" Agency reports, this was said by the Head of the team Sergey Vyazovich at a press conference on November 16.

"The last race has convincingly shown that all our three crews are able to fight for getting into the top ten", S. Vyazovych stressed. "Both the team and the equipment are ready for the tests of "Dakar-2018", he added.

And if the equipment is ready to start - on November 19, the cars will be sent to the port of the French city of Le Havre for further transportation to Peru - then the crew themselves will have more than a month of hard physical training.

"We are busy strengthening the muscle groups supporting the spine, trying to adapt ourselves to the conditions of the Bolivian highlands - more than 5 000 m above sea level, doing therapeutic exercise", says S. Vyazovich. "We train at least three times a week, and on the eve of the race - every day".

The design of the vehicles won't change much: the specialists have worked on the engines and transmission. The team of the racers remains unchanged: the leader Sergey Vyazovich is going with navigator Pavel Garanin and mechanic Andrei Zhigulin. The second car will be driven by pilot Alexander Vasilevsky, navigator Dmitry Vikhrenko and mechanic Anton Zaporoschenko. The third crew will consist of Alexei Vishnevsky, navigator Maxim Novikov and mechanic Andrei Neverovich.

The jubilee, the 40th "Dakar" promises to be the heaviest one.

"The rally-raid finally returns to the desert", (The last time it was held in Peru in 2013 (in addition to the traditional ones in Argentina and Bolivia) notes S. Vyazovich. "On the one hand, it will not be easy, because for the last years the organizers have been "accustoming" the racers to the routes with a harder surface. On the other hand, it is the sands and dunes that make it possible to fully demonstrate off-road characteristics of the car", he adds.

He especially indicates two points of the "program" of the rally-raid which will make the racers sweat over. First, the deserted Peruvian start.

"My first "Dakar" race - in 2013 - was just like that", recalls the pilot. "And if the upcoming stages are at least a bit similar to their predecessors, the crews will have a hard time", he adds.

The second point is that the organizers of the race have added combat kilometers. The length of high-speed sections will be more than 4 thousand km. Last year it was less than 3 thousand km.

"It will affect the endurance of both the crew and the equipment", S. Vyazovich states. "But our cars have a number of advantages in relation to many competitors. Therefore, we hope for success in the upcoming race as never before", he continues.

At the first stages, he sets a goal - all the crews should get into the top 10, and then go up by the rating table.

"Nobody will stand by and wait for each other", the leader of the Belarusian team rigidly prioritizes.

The pilot doesn't want to compare the "Dakar" and "Silk Road". He notes joking: if you say that the latter was more difficult, the organizers of the "Dakar" will take note of it and show that there is no limit to "perfection".

For the leader of the second crew - Alexander Vasilevsky - the Argentine rally-raid in 2018 will be the seventh. And the Peruvian sand is not new for him either.

"I have already become friendly with them", A. Vasilevsky notes joking, and then adds seriously: "Of course, I'm nervous, but, given the serious preparation, we are counting on a good result".

But for the commander of the third crew, Alexei Vishnevsky, this is only the second "Dakar". Last year he was recognized as the youngest pilot in the history of racing. But the sportsman keeps quite cheerfully and declares about his 100 percent training and fighting spirit.

The team will be accompanied by a group of mechanics. S.Vyazovich notes: these guys are able to eliminate any problem in the shortest possible time, regardless of the weather conditions. There will also be a group of engineers of the partner company (they are going there for the fourth year in a row). They are going to take with them a unique laboratory complex, which will make it possible at the end of each racing day to see any changes in the lubricant, the condition of the units and machinery units.

The jubilee "Dakar" will be held from 6 to 20 January 2018 in South America. Racers will have to overcome more than 9 thousand km (4 thousand of them are high-speed areas) on dunes, mountain passes and saline land.

News provided by "Minsk-Novosti" Agency

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