After a gruelling first week of the Dakar Rally, one factor unites the top four teams in the truck category: their choice of Goodyear tyres. The KAMAZ-master team holds the top three positions, with the highest placed IVECO from PETRONAS Team De Rooy in fourth. Both teams have chosen Goodyear’s durable OFFROAD tyres for the rally-raid through the Arabian Desert.
The Dakar began on New Year’s Day in Jeddah, marking the event’s third outing in Saudi Arabia. For 2022, it features new challenges and even more demanding routes with a higher percentage of desert sand stages. After 4,400 km of intense competition in week one, the teams enjoyed a well-earned rest day in Riyadh before heading south for week two of the marathon.
The Dakar also features categories for cars, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, but the truck category is one of the most competitive. With more than 50 trucks still in the running, the first week proved to be a closely fought battle between drivers, manufacturers and tyre companies.
Maciej Szymanski, Director of Marketing for Commercial Business Europe at Goodyear, said: “The fact that the choice of Goodyear OFFROAD tyres unites the top four teams in a field of more than 50 trucks underlines its performance. The tyres are exactly the same specification as the ones available to operators across Europe. Success means navigating sandy tracks with hidden stones, and we are pleased that the proven durability of Goodyear OFFROAD is providing a competitive advantage.”
The all-Russian squad of lead driver Dmitry Sotnikov, co-driver Ruslan Akhmadeev and mechanic Ilgiz Akhmetzianov leads after 22 hours of stage time, but by only ten minutes ahead of their KAMAZ-master teammates, led by Eduard Nikolaev.
Janus Van Kasteren heads the IVECO charge and has been battling closely with his KAMAZ rivals. At the halfway point the PETRONAS Team De Rooy entrant is fourth, despite being hindered by a cracked windscreen during the third stage.
The Dakar continues through this week, concluding its 8000 km adventure on Friday in Jeddah.