Will Kamaz back on top at 2017 Dakar Rally?
The Russian Kamaz is the most successful truck manufacturer in a history of Dakar Rally with 13 victories in the truck category (compared to six wins of Tatra or five wins of Mercedes-Benz), so it must be painful when they lost the dominance at this year’s race, losing the first place from Iveco. The preparations for 2017 Dakar Rally already started and Kamaz introduced its brand new and redesigned Master truck, which has only one assignment – return to the top.
The latest Dakar truck is different from predecessors
The main difference is visible at first sight. Compared to previous Master trucks, the new truck has a long bonnet, same as Iveco PowerStar which won the 2016 Dakar Rally. Obviously, the classic long-bonnet design is a new receipt for Dakar victory.
The new truck, nicknamed Kapotnik, was produced many months ago, even before 2016 Dakar Rally, but it wasn’t ready for competition. Since then the truck went through the development and testing phase which made him perfect for races.
Rally debut in 2016 as a preparation for 2017 Dakar
The debut race for new Kamaz Master was April’s rally raid Gold Cup of Kagan. The first international appearance will follow at the Silk Way Rally which takes place from July 8 to July 24, on the 10,000-km route from Moscow to Beijing. It will be the really tough challenge and the best possible preparation for next Dakar Rally, in January 2017 in South America.
980 wild horses speeding up to 160 km/h
The new Kamaz Master is equipped with four-wheel-drive and all-new 12.5-liter diesel engine with 980 horsepowers. All those wild horses are capable of speeding up to the maximum of 160 km/h. The driver had to operate with a 16-speed ZF gearbox to use the powerful engine in the best possible way. The truck features 1000-litre fuel tank, which enables it to keep going all day and much of the night.
Nikolaev: The 2017 Dakar will be all about speed
The new truck is still in the Red Bull ‘stealth’ livery, the final design would be revealed later. The driver of the new Kamaz is a two-time Dakar winner Eduard Nikolaev, alongside co-drivers Vladimir Rybakov and Evgeny Yakovlev.
“Naturally, the first thing you notice about this truck is that it looks different. The trucks we already have are all forward control vehicles and don’t have a hood. The main thing we were after in this design was crew comfort. When the crew’s comfortable they drive faster. The 2017 Dakar will be all about speed. There won’t be much cross-country driving and all our vehicles are mostly off-roaders. We had to adjust here and there, because you need a different vehicle configuration for a fast and technical rally like this. So we hope this new truck will help us a great deal”, Nikolaev said about his new vehicle.
Video : New Kamaz Master for 2017 Dakar Rally