For the first time in its history, the Africa Eco Race off-road marathon, starting in Monaco and finishing in the Senegalese capital, will take place between the 2 and 14 of January, the same dates as the South American Dakar.
In Africa, the KAMAZ-master team will continue its unique gas-powered vehicle project in collaboration with PJSC Gazprom.
The gas-powered KAMAZ of Sergey Kupriyanov’s team will traditionally participate in the Africa Eco Race 2017.
Two teams will line up on the start-line of the Africa Eco Race:
- №400, pilot Andrey Karginov, co-pilot Andrey Mokeev, mechanic Dmitry Nikitin.
- №403, pilot Sergey Kupriyanov, co-pilot Alexander Kupriyanov, mechanic Anatoliy Tanin.
The marathon’s African route will traditionally go through Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal finishing on the famous Lake Retba in Dakar.
The race proper starts on 2 January. The marathon includes 12 stages with only one rest day. The total distance is 6,500 kilometres and follows the classic Dakar Rally African path, designed by its founder, French motorcycle racer Thierry Sabine.
The Dakar Rally 2017 in South America will take place on 2-14 January and will run across the territory of three countries – Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. Paraguay will be the 29th country to host the Dakar Rally route in the history of the race.
The Dakar Rally 2017 will have 4 teams at the start-line:
- №501, pilot А. Mardeev; co-pilot А. Belyaev; mechanic D. Svistunov.
- №505, pilot E. Nikolaev; co-pilot Е. Yakovlev; mechanic В. Rybakov.
- №513, pilot D. Sotnikov; co-pilot R. Akhmadeev; mechanic I. Leonov.
- №515, pilot А. Shibalov; co-pilot R. Amatych, mechanic I. Romanov.
As always, an uncompromising struggle is expected for leadership in the truck category. Amongst the main rivals of the Russian KAMAZ-master team are: IVECO, MAN, RENAULT, GINAF, TATRA, SCANIA, LIAZ.
In total 316 vehicles from 59 countries, including 50 sport trucks will line up on the start-line of the Dakar Rally.
The first Dakar Race marathon started on 26 December 1978 from Paris when 170 teams went to conquer Africa. In 2009, due to a terrorist threat, the race was transferred to South America.
Thus, the Africa Eco Race, an alternative to the translocated Dakar Rally, was held in 2008. The African marathon was organized by the famous Dakar racers, the “Desert Fox” Jean-Louis Schlesser and René Metge (Race Sporting Director).
The gas-powered KAMAZ is a unique model of a sport truck based on the KAMAZ 4326. To obtain a better weight balance, the gas tanks are installed on the frame in the central part of the truck body. The vehicle was constructed in 2013 with support of PJSC Gazprom and VTB bank.
The Africa Eco Race is a unique event for testing the technology of using natural gas as an engine fuel in extreme conditions.
Materials used: www.gazprom-gmt.ru/special_projects/gazovy_kamaz, www.kamazmaster.ru, www.africarace.com