2011 Dakar Rally truck classification highlights

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Thursday, February 24, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Dakar Rally 2011 offroad race Chile to Argentina course route

The new year traditionally signals the start of the marathon Paris-Dakar offroad rally in Europe and North Africa. Security concerns and the murder of four French tourists forced the cancellation of the 2008 edition, but for the last three years the race has been held in the rugged South American terrain of Argentina and Chile. The 2011 Rally, traversing tropical jungles, the Andes mountains and the bone dry Atacama Desert, was held January 1-16th in thirteen sections totaling 5,976 miles. 407 teams started the race, 200 motorcycles/ATV’s and 67 trucks, but only 203 finished the grueling event in Buenos Aires. In the general classification for trucks, heavy duty Russian manufacturer Kamaz finished with 7 of the top 10 entrants. The team of 7-time Dakar winner Vladimir Chagin (RUS), Sergey Savostin (RUS) and Ildar Shaysultanov (RUS) finished with seven stage wins and first place overall in the truck classification with a final time of 2h 44′ 22. Four people were killed in Dakar-related incidents, one spectator, two mechanics and one driver.

[Update] “King of the Desert” leaves to stay – Voice of Russia.

“The King of the Desert” is abdicating his throne after the 2011 Dakar rally. One of the best racing drivers in the world, a seven-time winner of the legendary rally, a pilot of the Kamaz-Master team Vladimir Chagin has announced the end of his sporting career…

Vladimir Chagin and the Dakar have been together for 20 years and a lot has happened during this time. In 1994 the Russian pilot saw in his birthday, the 5th of January, in a mine-field or, rather, a narrow passage across a mine-field marked out by stones. Morocco and Mauritania opened that passage for the rally for one day and then the truce between those conflicting countries expired. And Chagin’s truck broke down, water was running out and they had to stay in the desert for two days. At dawn the crew decided to walk across the mine-field but luckily a technical support car managed to get through to them at 5 a.m.

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