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Dakar 2009 Ticker: Interview with Vladimir Chagin (Russia/Kamaz)

Five times winner in the truck category, Vladimir Chagin, "the Tsar", is aiming to climb onto the highest step of the podium after his last Dakar, in 2007, which ended with his withdrawal after an accident. Motivated by this new race, the unrivalled leader of the Kamaz Master is once again favorite to win.

ASO: A new continent, a new race, but are your ambitions the same?

Chagin: With not long now to go before the start of the race, I have a totally positive feeling. The newness really is a source of motivation. The climate is supposed to be difficult and very hot, but we are already used to that. We are just hoping that the engines will adapt as well as us and that once again we can aim for first place.

ASO: How have you prepared during the last few weeks and since you arrived in Buenos Aires?

Chagin: We have had some free time because the trucks had to be ready for November, which allowed us to rest. I haven’t driven since the Desert Challenge in Dubai. Since we arrived here on 29th December, we have been checking a few details. On 31st December, we studied the description of the route. We are going to adapt our strategy to the length of the specials. We will have to drive slower.

ASO: Is competition in the truck race going to be fierce?

Chagin: There are several pretenders to the crown. Everyone really wants this race, especially after a year without the Dakar. It’s time for the competition to start. For our part, we will have to concentrate on our race and keep our cool

2009/01/02 | 00:57 CET | Editor: MR/HS/ASO

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