Weather has probably become one of the biggest challenges at this years' Dakar rally, which was held from 2nd to 14th of January 2017, covering the territory of Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. Excessive rains made the organisers shorten the routes several times. They even had to cancel stage nine on 11th of January as the result of the flood in Argentina.
The path to the podium was not an easy one - it was a neck-to-neck race with the competitors. However, a tense struggle, severe weather conditions and the complexity of the tracks did not prevent the team of KAMAZ-Master from winning back the champion title at Dakar – the crews of Eduard Nikolaev and Dmitry Sotnikov won respectively the first and second prizes in the truck category.
Liebherr V8 diesel engines mounted on the team trucks were specially prepared for the Dakar 2017: the components were modified by using high performance materials that can withstand extreme temperatures and the engine’s performance was optimised to work at maximum output in mountains. To improve the wear resistance of the equipment under the heaviest overloads, new node elements were produced and installed. Furthermore, the pistons were replaced; reinforced rods and reliable turbochargers were mounted.
In close cooperation KAMAZ-Master and Liebherr develop and modify drive systems for the KAMAZ trucks participating in the rally in order to prepare them for each race. Since 2014, team trucks are equipped with Liebherr V8 diesel engines with the power output of 686 kW (920 h.p.). This allows the 8,900 kg heavy trucks to reach the limit of 140 km/h (the maximum speed limit at Dakar) and speed up from zero to 100 km/h in less than 10 sec. To reach such an efficiency Liebherr reinforced the engines with specialised fuel equipment of its own production. Partnership with KAMAZ-Master led to mutual development: Liebherr designs engine modifications in accordance with the KAMAZ requirements to secure successful participation in the Dakar rally.