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16 April 2018

Andrey Karginov fr om the KAMAZ-master team became the winner among trucks in the second round of the Russian Cross-Country Rallies Championship – the 2018 Gold of Kagan – in Astrakhan Oblast.

The third day of the competitions included Astrakhnan's well-known mix of sands, rough hillocks and fast-speed steppe roads with high side exterior slopes and turns. The stage didn't surprise the KAMAZ racers. But a pierced fuel pipe in Eduard Nikolaev's truck was all of a sudden: time loss for damage repair made the crew lose leadership in the standings. The team's general result is, however, rather impressive – the crews of KAMAZ-master won top three places in the truck category of the competition, and in the general rankings only Boris Gadasin managed to outran the KAMAZ racers in his car. Andrey Karginov's crew (navigator Andrey Mokeev, mechanic Igor Leonov) became the winner among trucks. Second time was scored by Eduard Nikolaev's crew (navigator Evgeny Yakovlev, mechanic Vladimir Rybakov), third place went to Dmitry Sotnikov's crew (navigator Dmitry Nikitin, mechanic Ilnur Mustafin).

On Saturday, Anton Shibalov as a pilot of a gas-diesel KAMAZ was replaced by Sergey Kupriyanov who had arrived on the eve and joined the KAMAZ-master team in the Astrakhan race. This change was planned by the team management from the very beginning. According to the rules of the competition, Crew 304 couldn't fight for results in the Gold of Kagan race because of the replaced pilot, but testing in the race was of great importance (the pilot was assisted by navigator Aleksandr Kupriyanov and mechanic Dmitry Svistunov). This new gas-and-diesel KAMAZ piloted by Sergey Kuprianov’s crew is going to participate in the transcontinental Silk Way Rally-2018 which is to start in only three months.

Anton Shibalov, pilot: “Due to the injury sustained a year ago, I had to skip the Silk Way and the Dakar – the key races of the rally-raid season. It wasn't easy psychologically. I could follow them only on TV. Perhaps, therefore I had a great desire to come to the start as soon as possible. Today’s target was to drive at our own speed and, if possible, show a good result. We tried to drive fast and safe. Thanks to my crew and all the team for good teamwork. This competition really matters to me. I am happy that we managed to do it.”

Sergey Kupriyanov, pilot: “The new truck left only positive impressions. Good and reliable truck. The use of a diesel-and-gas mixture helps to pick up excellent speed. This is especially important in sands wh ere you need to speed up fast at choosing trajectory in dunes after slowdowns. The crew did a great job. I hope that before the Silk Way Rally start we will have an opportunity to train together in order to show a good result on the route from China to Russia."

Sergey Savostin, KAMAZ-master team manager at the Gold of Kagan rally: "It was of a great use for the team to spend days at the Gold of Kagan. During such drives we fine-tune technical novelties which should be tested before the key international races of the season. We got ahead in optimization and regulation of a conventional truck, as well as a new in-line six-cylinder engine. I think it's very important that Andrey Karginov returned to the ranks. He is a remarkable player in the world rally truck discipline. He proved it again with his win in the race of the Russian championship."

Results of the general classification of the 2018 Gold of Kagan rally:

1. Boris Gadasin (cars) – 8:06.25

2. Andrey Karginov (KAMAZ-master) – 8:16.25

3. Eduard Nikolaev (KAMAZ-master) – 8:28.45

4. Dmitry Sotnikov (KAMAZ-master) – 8:38.09

5. Siarhei Viazovich (MAZ-SPORTavto) – 8:56.38

7. Aliaksei Vishneuski (MAZ-SPORTavto) – 9:02.58