Last Friday, the KAMAZ-master team came in on 1st and 2nd position after 12 challenging stages and won – for the 17th time – the famous DAKAR 2020. Another fantastic win, adding to the rich track record of the team, and for Goodyear as their official tyre partner.
For many years, the Dakar has been known as the toughest rally in the world. This year the rally headed for new horizons in Saudi Arabia. The rally covered 7,500 kms, including 5,000 km of hi-speed and close racing. From the start in Jeddah on the 5th January, the teams did not know what to expect from this new continent.
At each stage of the race, the trucks encountered a large variety of challenges from tricky desert tracks with hidden stones, to rocky canyons and riverbeds with sharp objects. In these conditions, it is capital, to monitor the heat in the tyre. The cabin crew made smart choices to keep up the speed and to keep the tyre in one piece in order to finish the race. At all times, the drivers have to master their driving skills and carefully manage the tyre pressure, to get a good balance between grip,traction, speed and durability. It turned out, this edition was even tougher than previous years in Latin America.
“On the outside the scenery was magnificent, however inside the truck we had to stay focused every second and it required a lot of hard work” explains Andrey Karginov, driver of the winning crew 511 of KAMAZ-master. “This year’s race included hazardous sandy dune stages and misleading labyrinths covered with sharp stones. We encountered many risky situations, but the Goodyear tyres kept on going – offering supreme traction driving up the dunes and they were extremely robust.” he concludes.
With 17 wins the KAMAZ-master team remains unbeaten in the DAKAR. Over the years, the team has built up an incredible amount of technical know-how. Although the environment was entirely new to them, the crews mastered the performance of the KAMAZ trucks in each of the stages. The team was going at full throttle – up to 140km per hour on the straights, as well as some spectacular jumps in the desert and tempering speed on risky tracks. They never failed, and the winning team finished the 7500 km race in just 46 hours, 33 minutes 46 seconds. During this incredible 12-day journey, the tyres remained strong – to great satisfaction of the team.
“At Goodyear, we design our products to deliver the winning performance for our partners. We are extremely proud that once again the victorious KAMAZ-master team could count on the exceptional quality of our standard products – proven in probably the toughest race in the world” says Maciej Szymanski, Director Marketing Europe for Commercial Business Unit at Goodyear. “This reconfirms a very strong track record for Goodyear OFFROAD ORD tyres in durability, traction on rocky and sandy terrain and in very challenging circumstances at hi-speed.”
To be on the podium, the optimum set-up of the truck is key. Therefore, the truck and the tyres need to work seamlessly together. Over the past few years, the Dakar has been marked by teams finishing less than one hour apart after 12 full days of close racing. Every minute counts and any issue can have an impact and determine if the team is on the podium or not.
Next level product testing and development
For ASO-organiser of the Dakar Rally, it’s mandatory that all truck teams compete on standard tyres. These must be developed for normal daily operations and can be bought by any fleet manager in the market. Given the extreme driving, races like Dakar are the ultimate testbed for the Goodyear OFFROAD ORD. The tyres selected by the winning KAMAZ-master team, are normally used to maximise uptime in tough off-road operations such as mines and quarries. Their tread pattern with massive blocks, along with the optimised compound, provides high resistance against tearing and cutting.
Likewise, the FIA European Truck Racing Championship is enabling the company to take its development process to the next level. Extreme testing conditions stress the tyre carcass to cope with deformation and extreme forces caused by jumps, like in the Dakar – as well as cornering at hi-speed in truck racing. This results in the advanced Goodyear carcass technology offering enhanced durability and robustness, ultimately having a positive effect on fuel efficiency across the full portfolio. This includes on-road long-haul and regional haul, mixed-services, off-road, as well as bus and coach tyres.
Goodyear has a long and successful history in motorsport and is very proud to be selected by leading teams as their official tyre partner. These teams participate in the most challenging rallies across the globe and count on the ultimate performance of our standard products. The tyres need to always be ready for the unexpected, whether it is a high jump at full speed in a race or on a slippery muddy slope in daily operations. The next challenge coming up for the KAMAZ-master team will be the Silkway Rally in China from the 3rd to the 16th July.