Renowned Russian racing drivers and motorcyclists visited President of the ROC Alexander Zhukov

On Monday, December 15, at the Russian Olympic Committee ROC President and IOC member Alexander Zhukov received a large delegation of Russian pilots, members of the KAMAZ-Master team – participants of the world famous Dakar and  Africa Race rallies, led by a seven-time Dakar winner and now the head of a Non-profit Partnership “KAMAZ-Avtosport” Vladimir Chagin and the reigning Dakar  champion Andrey Karginov. During the friendly meeting Alexander Zhukov wished success to the Russian participants of the two major World Rally-Raids and presented the Sochi 2014 Olympic torch to the guests.

“This meeting is held in memory of the Sochi Olympic Games, on the eve of which we had also met. Remember, then we said that it is your team that should set the tone for the sports results for the entire year. You scored two brilliant victories, and later at the Olympic Games our country has performed brilliantly. So your contribution to the success of the Russian team in Sochi is obvious. And now we sincerely wish you good luck in the coming year and we look forward to your new victories,”- said the President of the ROC.

Dakar is  the first major international competition, opening in 2015th year. A popular race in extreme conditions will start in three weeks, on January 4, in Buenos Aires. Within 13 days the drivers will have to race across three countries – Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The route will involve more than 9,000 kilometers without roads. The crews of Eduard Nikolaev, Ayrat Mardeev, Andrey Karginov and Dmitriy Sotnikov will go to South America.

The 2015 Dakar Rally route will be the most difficult of all that have taken place before on the Latin American continent. It will include two marathon stages with no technical support and some areas, located at an altitude of five thousand meters.  Special training, that has been tested this year, will help Russian race participants to adapt as quickly as possible to the middle and high mountain conditions.

“In Bolivia, we will climb to a height of 4.6 thousand meters, – said a Dakar participant, an ATV driver Sergey Karyakin. – This causes additional difficulties, especially breathing difficulties. At such a height the car also loses its power and it’s physically  difficult. Many take oxygen tanks with them to somehow facilitate their stay at an altitude.”

“Within two weeks of the race we will have to conquer several dramatic changes in elevation – 4800 meters, 3000, 3500. It’s very difficult for both people and cars, –  admitted Vladimir Chagin. – This year we found a way to prepare people for this challenge. The ROC Innovation Center really helps. The experience, techniques and practical achievements of this Center have been successfully used during athletes’ preparation for the Sochi Olympic Games.”

During three weeks, six crews, as well as reserve pilots and the technical staff have joined the program of the Russian Olympic Committee on the use of additional artificial hypoxia in high performance sports, that was successfully tested at the Sochi Olympic Games. In early December, the ROC mobile laboratory went to  Naberezhnye Chelny, to the KAMAZ-Master sports-technical center to help the team members to prepare for the unusual conditions of  Dakar 2015.

The ROC Innovation Center experts carried out a range of tests, pursuant to which an individual program of active of training and ‘sleep at an altitude’ was developed for each member of the team. During a whole month KAMAZ-Master team members performed physical exercise in hypoxia, and they also slept in tents with individual correction of the percentage of oxygen in the air, in order to increase the hypoxia tolerance.

Dakar 2014 is remembered for Andrew Karginov’s crew dramatic victory. At the final stage despite the threat of losing a very small advantage over its main rival — the Dutch crew — the Russian team couldn’t drive past the overturned car and helped out the Chinese drivers who had an accident. But they lost a lot of time in the process, and after they had crossed the finishing line it turned out that they had fallen more than nine minutes behind the leader in the overall standing. However, justice was restored: the organizers appreciated the Russians’ act of Fair Play. After that lost time was taken into account, Karginov’s  crew came in front of de Rooy.

Vladimir Chagin promised ‘not to lower the bar’. KAMAZ-Master has been winning systematically in recent years, and of course, other racers don’t like it. We have already heard phrases like: “We will not give victory to KAMAZ. Especially since the competition in the truck class has increased dramatically – he said. – We do not want to disappoint our fans so we condition ourselves for success.  As for the expectations, any of the four crews can succeed.”