Vladimir Chagin, a seven-time Dakar champion and now the team’s coach and manager, confessed that it had been a hard-fought victory.
Putin congratulated the winners and wished them further success.
Voice of Russia, RIA
Russia’s KAMAZ-Master team has scooped all truck medals at the Dakar-2013 rally in South America. Three KAMAZ drivers made it to the podium – top winner Eduard Nikolayev and his teammates Ayrat Mardeyev and Andrei Karginov. This is the 11th Dakar win for KAMAZ and the first one for Nikolayev. Ever since he joined the KAMAZ-Master team as a mechanic in 2006, he was dreaming of getting behind the wheel. He had to wait for six long years.
Finally, after seven-time Dakar champion Vladimir Chagin stepped down in 2011 to take over as the team’s top manager, Nikolayev moved in to fill the vacant slot. At last year’s Dakar, Russia lost to Holland. This year, competition was also very tough and few expected Russia to win. But the all-Russian truck podium is further proof that the KAMAZ school is invincible.
"It’s the happiest day for the KAMAZ-Master team, for our country and for all our fans, Vladimir Chagin told reporters. Such an unexpected result, such a tremendous victory! We had serious doubts about winning even two medal places, and there we are – taking the entire podium to the surprise of all other Dakar racers. We still cannot believe that it’s true, that we scooped all the medals. We owe this success to all our fans."
Eduard Nikolayev was beaming with happiness, but said he didn’t know how he had managed to make it to the top.
"We are still not fully aware that we have won. But on the whole, we are very pleased with the result and with our team tactics. It was a very interesting race. Competition was very tough indeed up to the finish line – not a minute, not a second was to be lost."
As a result, the Dutch team, last year’s Dakar winner, came only fourth.
In the cars category, Russia’s Leonid Novitsky finished third. The gold went to French racer Stephane Peterhansel.
The leader of the Russian Kamaz-Master truck team, Eduard Nikolaev came in first in the final of the rally.
Second and third place in the general classification were won by Kamaz-Master drivers Airat Mardeev and Andrey Karginov respectively.
The Kamaz-Master Team has won the Dakar Rally for the first time after the retirement of team leader Vladimir Chagin who won the rally seven times.
Last year's winner was Dutchman Gerard de Rooy who was considered this year’s favorite and who was the leader in the overall standings until the 9th stage, but due to technical problems lost several positions.
Voice of Russia, RIA