|Dakar Rally 2013: Kamaz strikes back with 1-2-3 win in the trucks class.|
The 2013 edition saw the comeback of the Kamazs, which took their 11th win and, most importantly, pulled off a stunning 1-2-3 in Santiago with Russians Eduard Nikolaev, Ayrat Mardeev and Andrey Karginov! A nice gift for Vladimir Chagin in his first year as team manager.
But the race wasn't dyed in the same deep blue hue as it was during the Tsar's reign. Champion Nikolaev was the first truck driver in the history of the rally to win the race without taking any stages and, all in all, the Russian juggernauts only won four, with defending champion Gerard de Rooy taking six.
There's no doubt he was the fastest man on the course, but a broken turbo in the 9th stage put paid to his hopes. He lost an hour and was unable to claw it back, finishing in fourth place, 4:19 from the podium and just ahead of the two ageing Tatras driven by Martin Kolomý and especially Ales Loprais, his only rival in the early stages and ephemeral leader after stage 4, before a failing battery dashed his dreams of fighting for the top honours the very next day.
2013/01/21 | 16:31 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO