Following another victory for the Eduard Nikolaev’s crew from the Kamaz-master team in the Truck category of the 2018 Dakar rally, the participants of the rally marathon share their emotions.

Eduard Nikolaev, Pilot of Crew 500, “I am very grateful to my crew and entire team for this overall victory. A big thank you to the fans for the support that we felt from the start of the race. It was very difficult. In some dramatic moments, we thought all was over for our crew. But, fortunately, vehicles and people endured. I’m happy to win in the year of the 40th anniversary of the Dakar and in the year of the thirtieth anniversary of the Kamaz-master team.

After Eduard Nikolaev’s success at the Dakar, the head of the Kamaz-master team wished the victorious impulse to be inherited from the Russian racers by the Russian Olympic sportsmen. “Happy moments, we are very happy that we were able in the first competition of the year, the Dakar rally, which opens a sporting year on the planet, to bring victory to Russia,” he said by phone to RIA Novosti’s correspondent. “Delirious happiness! Ahead of the Olympics, I would like to wish Russian athletes to be only the first, that the winning impulse, the winning spirit passed from the Kamaz-master team to all our guys.”

“Everybody saw how difficult the Dakar was. That was the jubilee race, and the problem was faced by the organizers to make it memorable. And the Dakar turned out to be in traditions of the 80-90s. I’m glad we were able to withstand this challenge for vehicle reliability and people’s endurance. Our guys and our trucks showed the potential of our motor racing and the automotive industry.

There was a lot of pressure before the start: Villagra or Nikolaev, Iveco or Kamaz – who will be first? The vehicles couldn’t have endured that pace they were keeping while racing off-road, somebody had to break. We are infinitely happy that our vehicle endured, and Kamaz-master was victorious,” summed up the seven-time winner of the Dakar.

Ayrat Mardeev, Pilot of Crew 507, “I think I haven’t  ever seen such an emotionally charged race and level of competition. And all this was in parallel with a desperate struggle with the elements. From the very beginning of the race, the Peruvian heat and sands shocked many participants. Next, the Bolivian highlands and again sands and off-road, of Argentina. There was not a single day easier than the previous one. Everybody was at the end of their ropes at the 2018 Dakar. It’s already a victory when you simply get to the finish line. The bronze Bedouin is of great value for our crew.”

Belarusian racer Siarhei Viazovich said that the 2018 Dakar had become the most difficult race in his career having and noted that he was “immensely happy” that his crew had managed to take second place in the general classification of the rally marathon in the truck category. “Till the last kilometer of the final special stage, we were very worried and wanted everything to go smoothly, without failures.  There were cases when vehicles broke at the last kilometers of the distance, so we couldn’t think about anything else before crossing the finish line. We were stressed out. We are happy to the max! This is the most difficult Dakar I remember,” Viazovich was quoted by the press service of the G-Energy team as saying. “Especially impressive is that it’s jubilee, and the rivals are strong – more than 10 strongest crews of the world fought only for the podium. But not all crews managed to get to the finish, not to speak of joining this struggle, so it’s super that in such a struggle we withstood to win second place on the podium!” added the leader of the Belarusian team.