Last Saturday, on November 26, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov met with the racers and managers of the KAMAZ-master team, reports Erik Khayrullin, Press Attaché of the team.
It was decided to preserve an annual tradition to meet with the team before the delivery of trucks to the Dakar rally, notwithstanding the fact that this year the KAMAZ-master team doesn’t participate in this race. The matter is that the participation of the Russian athletes at the next rally Dakar to be held in January 2023 is conditioned by the necessity of signing the Driver Commitment of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), the content of which is political and also violates the principles of equal conditions for athletes. “Our choice is clear – we are always with our homeland, especially when it is in a difficult situation,” said Vladimir Chagin, Head of KAMAZ-master.
Though there are changes in the annual schedule, KAMAZ-master leads an active production and competition life. This year, the team has proved its leadership as a racing and engineering team during the rally marathons Dakar 2022 and Silk Way 2022. Besides, the team became the winner of the Russian Rally Raid Championship.
This year saw great efforts to prepare for a new racing season: a fine-tuned racing truck of the K5 generation was built, an upgraded conventional vehicle KAMAZ-43509K was made. The focus in these projects was on import phase-out, which required great labour from the production shop and design department of the team.
The new vehicles will undergo full-fledged tests in racing conditions during the Russian Rally Raid Championship, and also during the main start of the forthcoming season – at the international rally Silk Way to be held from July 6 to 15, 2023 along the route Kazan-Ufa-Magnitogorsk-Orenburg-Samara-Saratov-Volgograd-Lipetsk-Moscow.
Under the Technogorod project of KAMAZ PTC, the KAMAZ-master team is working much on supporting children’s and young people’s motorsports, patriotic upbringing, making technical education popular with young people. The KAMAZ-master pilots are role models for the younger generation. In 2015, by Rustam Minnikhanov’s decision, Chelny’s go-cart track was handed over to KAMAZPTC, under the management of the KAMAZ-master team, and go-cart racing in Naberezhnye Chelny found fresh impetus. To date, more than 80 children practice at the city’s go-cart track, most of them are members of the racing group, which defends the honour of the city at regional and federal competitions. Thanks to the efforts of KAMAZ-master, Naberezhnye Chelny has well-developed buggy and go-cart tracks, which during the expiring year hosted more than a dozen large competitions of the city’s, republican and federal championships.
In 2023, the team plans to arrange joint production of children’s go-carts at the premises of Naberezhnye Chelny Polytechnic College. Under the curriculum, the students of the college will participate in the full cycle of small car production. Such experience will help them faster get practical skills for the future profession. The produced go-carts are meant for the youngest children (6-8 years old), they will go to children’s sports schools not only in the Republic of Tatarstan, but also in other regions of the Russian Federation. By the way, during the visit, Rustam Minnikhanov was shown a new car for young champions.
To add to this, the head of the republic examined and highly appreciated modernized trucks of the K5 line and bonneted trucks. Minnikhanov was informed about the work on vehicle design, other improvements, also in running characteristics of the trucks.
“In order to realize what progress was achieved, you need to drive a vehicle. KAMAZ vehicles feature high cross-country mobility and dependability. The automated gearbox helps control and keep the speed during the whole race. This is important because a racer should stay efficient,” noted Rustam Minnikhanov.
According to the head of the Republic of Tatarstan, despite all difficulties, KAMAZ is perfecting its vehicles, was and is still the basis of Russia’s auto industry. “KAMAZ PTC has created the whole set of the latest plants producing engines, gearboxes – all this helps us stay competitive globally today,” he is convinced.
Rustam Minnikhanov managed to examine the progress and evolution of racing trucks of the KAMAZ-master team having personally tested not only the new trucks, but also having driven the racing KAMAZ trucks produced in 1996 and 2002. These are historic vehicles, including the first sports truck KAMAZ-4310 made in 1988, were demonstrated on the testing ground not for nothing: in 2003, the KAMAZ-master team will celebrate its 35th anniversary. It should be recalled that Minnikhanov had participated in Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge races as a pilot of the KAMAZ-master team since 2000 through 2007 and won in them six times.