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Russians Hit Dakar 2020 with the Kamaz Master Team Sponsored by Red Bull
Leave it to the Russians. Honestly, when was the last time that Russians have disappointed us with their "balls-to-the-walls" approach to anything, from gymnastics to crazy contraptions and even Dakar?

Russians Hit Dakar 2020 with the Kamaz Master Team Sponsored by Red Bull

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We’ve known that Russians have a specific taste for the crazy, and so it makes perfect sense to find a group of them huddled around Dakar night fires. But this isn’t just any team. These experienced truckers are even sponsored by Red Bull.

Let me tell you a little story. I was on assignment looking for the biggest, meanest, expedition vehicle around and out of the corner of my screen I see the Red Bull logo floating in a sea of sand. Being intrigued, I dove deeper into the story, only to be transported to a place where I could see a 16-ton truck flying as if it truly had wings. Around, nothing but sand dunes and maybe a track or two from the predecessors on the Dakar circuit.

The 2020 Dakar Rally was the 42nd edition of the event and ran for 12 days, from January 5th to the 17th. One of the entries In the truck category was the Kamaz team, led by driver Andrey Olegovich Karginov. I see it like thi: anyone with the sound of the word car in their last name should definitely be doing something with cars.

So what is it we’re looking at? The initial design is called a Kamaz 4326, but I'm not very sure how much of it is still a Kamaz once the team gets in on the action. First off, it weighs 35,200 lbs (16,000 kg), and surprisingly can hit a top speed of 102 mph (165 kph). Imagine that for a second. A 16-ton truck flying through the desert at 100 mph. Russians.

This huge beast also boasts a pretty impressive 36 degree climbing angle and a 37 ft (11.3 m) turning circle. Front axle load is roughly 10,600 lbs (4,800 kg) and the rear load is 10,360 lbs (4,700 kg). And even with all this weight, the Kamaz can still get some airtime.

The engine for the Kamaz is a turbodiesel YAMZ 8363.10-07 with a power output of 624 kW. It's a V8 with a maximum torque of 1,991 ft lbs (2,700 Nm) of torque and a gas tank capacity of 264 gallons (1000 liters). 

A ZF 16S-251 16-speed gearbox with remote mechanical control, and a STEYR VC2000/396 transfer gearbox. Have I lost ya yet? Don’t worry, it won't take much longer.

A huge braking system offers the possibility to control this sucker around tight corners. A 400 mm drum diameter and a 220 mm shoe width give the Kamaz the necessary stopping power and control to even perform on snow covered roads (check out the video below). Another necessary component would be the tires. Michelin 14.00 R20XZL are used to cover any terrain from desert to coastline and even rally tracks.

Honestly anything of this size that can handle Dakar is a sheer spectacle. When I first saw the videos for the Kamaz, I was absolutely amazed at the airtime this puppy can get. 


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