DAKAR'S TOP TRUCK DRIVER: Andrey Karginov (inset) will once again get behind the wheel of a Kamaz truck as he heads to South America to take on the 2015 Dakar Rally. Image: Dakar.com
ISSY LES MOULINEAUX, France - For the first time the Dakar will feature a marathon stage for the truck category with a stop at a dedicated bivouac near Iquique.
The marathon stage will be among the difficulties Andrey Karginov and the Kamaz team will have to overcome if team hopes to continue its domination of the event.
RUSSIA'S TOP TRUCKERS
In the Dakar record books, the truck category is dominated by the Kamaz team with 12 titles in the past 18 editions.
The teams victory at the 2014 Dakar Rally victory was complemented by a parade of Russian drivers as Karginov's three team mates completed the top five. The four Kamaz drivers had an average age of just 31
The 2015 Dakar entry list is also a reminder that the fifth truck, which didn’t make it to Valparaiso, Chile in 2014, was that of Ayrat Mardeev, another important trump card in the team's arsenal.
Despite its prowess rivals, led by Gerard De Rooy, lie in wait...
KAMAZ, IVECO BATTLE
Iveco driver De Rooy, 2012 winner, finished the 2014 Dakar three minutes behind Karginov, after spending nine stages at the sharp end of the general classification and winning three special stages. The leader of the Ivecos seems to be in the best position to shake up the Kamaz clan and will be seconded by his cousin Hans Stacey, one of the few to have found a way to counter Kamaz back in 2007.
In addition to the Kamaz - Iveco confrontation, MAN driver Ales Loprais is also a contender for the title.
The reluctant forfeiture of his loyal Tatra, due to technical incompatibilities, could turn into an opportunity as joins Marcel Van Vliet (3rd in 2010) behind the wheel of a MAN truck.