OREANDA-NEWS. The KAMAZ-master team will as usual take part in the rally-raid Gold of Kagan, the second championship of Russia to be held in Astrakhan from April 12 to 14.

It is reported by the press service of the team that more than 50 crews from all corners of Russia will arrive in Astrakhan to compete for the Gold of Kagan 2018. Tricky Astrakhan sands have repeatedly tested the racers, but this year the organizers decided to break from a tradition of off-road extreme racing and focus on speedways requiring technical skills and challenging navigation.

Vladimir Chagin, Head of the KAMAZ-master team, will come by air to Astrakhan as an observer, because he's very busy now: as a manager of the Silk Way international rally project, he is busy with preparations for the supermarathon to be held along the route China – Kazakhstan – Russia in July.

Sergey Savostin who will act as a team manager during the race told about the KAMAZ team's plans for the upcoming race. According to him, KAMAZ-master's participation in the Gold of Kagan rally raid is usually associated with the start of an annual season of preparations for large international competitions. Three months are left till the start of the international rally-marathon Silk Way, and Astrakhan roads are the best to test both pilots and vehicles. This time, testing of vehicles is of primary importance.

"There will be four vehicles competing in the race," said Savostin. "Under our joint program with PJSC GAZPROM and VTB Bank, we developed a new gas-diesel truck with a 16-litre engine (previously we used an 18-litre engine in this project). It will be tested by Anton Shibalov and Sergey Kupriyanov."

Eduard Nikolaev will drive a conventional truck our fans are already acquainted with. The last large competitions in which this truck participated is the Silk Way 2016 rally. But now this is actually a new truck with upgraded units and aggregates starting from a chassis to a new six-cylinder inline engine. This engine which, being installed in Dmitry Sotnikov's truck, passed tests of the Silk Way 2017 and the Dakar 2018 will be used in all our racing trucks starting from the Dakar 2019. Dmitry's crew will continue developing and optimizing it during the forthcoming starts in Astrakhan.

Finally, Andrey Karginov resumes an active competition program having recovered after last year's trauma. Of course, Astrakhan's tracks are very hard, but Karginov is an experienced pilot who can very well adapt to and run on any roads evenly.