OREANDA-NEWS. The winners of the Dakar-2017, Eduard Nikolaev and Dmitry Sotnikov, explained how they had gained victory and prepared their trucks and crews for this year's race.

Eduard Nikolaev 's crew finished first at the Dakar-2017 rally-marathon. According to him, this year the team has paid special attention to preparing both trucks and crew members themselves for the race.

During the year, the team's trucks have been updated completely. "We realized that the Dakar has slightly changed its conception. Tracks have become more speedy. We changed the design, weight distribution of the truck, the brand of tires which enables to go faster. This year we have been preparing ourselves and preparing the trucks for the Dakar of just this type - in the WRC style, as they call it ourselves. In addition, the Dakar-2017 has become more complicated in terms of navigation. If you recall, the basic problems of our team were associated with navigation which was really difficult. Next year, we'll make it the focus to improve our navigators' work", Eduard Nikolaev said in an interview to TASS. According to him, a lot of attention was also paid to the sportsmen's physical training. "This year, the track was laid much higher. The participants felt it, many of them had headaches. But we were prepared,” said the racer. “I’d also like to mention our mechanics’ work at nights – they helped us save waste time on scratches.” According to Nikolaev, it is very important for the KAMAZ-master not only that the team once again won the rally, but that the crew under Dmitry Sotnikov for the first time entered the top three, finishing in second place.

For KAMAZ-master’s racer Dmitry Sotnikov second position at the past Dakar have become the best performance in his career. As the pilot explained in an interview to Motorsport.com, this was a result from replacements inside the staff, “This year we didn’t act as assistance, we drove as racers,” the racer explained. 

The race was full of problems – again KAMAZ-master racers didn’t lead initially, but, nevertheless, the team could reconsider its strategy and, thanks to right decisions and strength distribution along the track, leave behind all rivals and win. This victory has become for the KAMAZ-master the fourteenth one at the Dakar.