The Dakar Rally Marathon is approaching its equator – today the program includes the sixth stage of the legendary multi-day race. And already on Saturday, the participants will have a long-awaited day of rest.
A trio of Russian crews under the control of Andrey Karginov, Dmitry Sotnikov and Eduard Nikolaev passed the entire distance without stopping and in sight of each other. At the finish, KAMAZ-master trucks split seconds, and Karginov’s time, who won the second stage in a row, was 3 hours, 16 minutes, 16 seconds.
Andrey Karginov, the pilot of crew No. 509:
“Today is navigator’s day. It was not very convenient to go first – the trucks, despite the existing tracks, write their course, cut the highway. And in this regard, it was easier for the others, they saw our tracks, which served as a guide for them. We understood this situation and tried to drive fast, make a lot of cuts, but this driving style is risky – no one knows what awaits in the washouts and riverbeds. The only hitch occurred closer to the finish. We lost 30 seconds in finding the right course. Everything is fine with the truck – the gearbox no longer bothers, for which thanks to the mechanics. I saw that the video with my passage through the river became popular. This happened after we were pulled out of the mud: we had to move to the other side and saw a suitable place. Yes, I understood that there was a deep ford, but the shore seemed surmountable, and I decided to take a chance. The only thing is that they left a little hard, but this is due to a broken box. From the outside, of course, such an assault on the river looks spectacular.
Dmitry Sotnikov, the pilot of the crew No. 500:
“The first part of the special stage was rocky, a little trial and a lot of dust. Because of the large number of buggies, we had to drive very carefully so as not to stumble on stones and save the wheels. We saw Andrey Karginov ahead all day, but we couldn’t get close to him. In the neutralization zone, we saw two punctured wheels of Anton Shibalov, but we had no problems.”