Among the 71 trucks that started in the Rallye Dakar in January 2014 were five trucks from Kamaz Master, the racing team of the Russian company Kamaz OJSC. Three of the trucks were equipped with 8-cylinder Liebherr diesel engines. Two of the trucks came in third and fifth in the overall ranking. The third truck had to drop out in the second stage due to an accident on extremely difficult terrain. On March 12th, one of the trucks that participated in the rallye and its driver Eduard Nikolaev visited Liebherr Machines Bulle SA, where the engines had been developed and built.
The Rallye Dakar is one of the toughest challenges for drivers, vehicles and their components and has taken place in Latin America since 2009. The Kamaz Master team has been dominating the race in the truck competition for years and has won the race twelve times in total – in 2013 with the team built around driver Nikolaev and in 2014 with team Karginov.
For the Rallye Dakar 2014, three out of five trucks of the racing team Kamaz Master were equipped with Liebherr V8 engines model D9508 A7 with 16.2 liters displacement. In the racing configuration, with special turbocharger that was developed jointly by both companies, a nominal power of 720 kW (965 hp) and a maximum torque of 4,000 Nm could be achieved. The engine accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 10 seconds. The average speed during the race varied between 20 and 140 km/h.
During their visit, the Kamaz Master representatives stressed their enthusiasm for the straightforward, cooperative partnership with Liebherr. They also praised the outstanding performance and superb reliability of the engine during the rallye.
For the Rallye Dakar 2015 Kamaz Master plans to use Liebherr engines in all of its racing trucks. The preparations have already started.