January 9, 2020 - Thursday
G-ENERGY TEAM: Stage five – third of the race behind

STAGE 5 | Al-Ula -> Hail | Date: 09.01.2020 [GMT +3]
Special stage: 353 km | Total stage distance
 564 km | Liaison: 211 km
Weather conditions: 
day +15С, night +3С; wind 5 m/s

The DAKAR rally marathon participants have overcome the first third of the rally distance. The race, held in Saudi Arabia for the first time, continues to pose challenges for drivers and riders – one after another, they face different problems.
The 353-kilometer special stage finally took the drivers and riders to the huge dunes – almost half of the route on Thursday was laid in the sands, possibly less technical, but equally impressive. The slopes and climbs, sometimes hidden by desert grass, required the drivers’ attention. However, there were also enough stones and rocks, they served as good guidelines for co-drivers, but the racers had to avoid the risk of a puncture.

The fifth stage finished in the city of Ha’il that is located in an oasis in the middle of the Nejd desert. Ha’il is the capital of the former Emirate of Jabal Shammar that joined the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1921. The main features of the region are two great mountain ranges – granite Ajā and basalt Salmā, as well as the huge sand dunes of Al-Nafūd. The city of Ha’il is located on the southern flank of Ajā. 
The previous DAKAR day was marked by a large number of punctured wheels – the stony track played its fateful role. The time lost on the spare wheels mounting, of course, was reflected in the results of the participants – after the fourth special stage there were several important changes in the general classification.

According to the results of the first third of the DAKAR, nobody of last year’s marathon winners managed to lead any of the standings. And the race favorites continue to suffer from the blows of fate. For example, over the past two days, the Bike standings lost three strong participants at once – Sam Sunderland (KTM factory team), the 2017 DAKAR winner and the Silk Way international rally reigning winner, fell down and immediately retired at the fifth special stage; the Yamaha factory team lost two riders – Adrien van Beveren and Xavier de Soultrait could not continue the fight.
The top three of the DAKAR Truck standings has changed again – Sergey VYAZOVICH the MAZ-SPORTauto team driver, who is supported by Gazpromneft – Lubricants, is taking the third place now.

The struggle in the Truck standings is keen – on Thursday the leader changed twice during the special stage. Andrey Karginov, the KAMAZ-master team, led the race from the special stage start. But after the first hundred kilometers of the distance, his teammate Anton Shibalov was ahead of him. It was he, who led the longest and began to leave his rivals, but a hundred kilometers before the special stage finish, the situation changed dramatically – Dmitry Sotnikov broke into first place with a big handicap.
At the finish line, Dmitry Sotnikov had the best result. Anton Shibalov arrived the second – he lost 3.6 minutes to the special stage winner. Andrey Karginov finished the third – his gap to Sotnikov was 3.16 minutes.

Sergey VYAZOVICH, performing in the bonneted MAZ with the G-Energy logo on board, finished with the fourth result. At the very beginning of the special stage, the Belarusian crew went second, but because of the too “soft” suspension settings it was impossible to maintain the maximum pace, and he missed two opponents ahead.

Another MAZ-SPORTauto team driver, Alexander VASILEVSKIY, finished with the 10th result. His teammateAlexey VISHNEVSKY became the twelfth.
According to the fifth special stage results, Andrey Karginov retained his leading position in the Truck standings. His teammate Anton Shibalov is 15 minutes behind him, on the second place. Sergey VYAZOVICH is rounding out the top three.

Eduard Nikolaev, the KAMAZ-master team leader, has become the main loser in the Truck classification today. He drove along the track with the fifth time in a virtual ranking, but at the 163rd km of the special stage he stopped due to a breakdown. At the time of this press material release, repairs have still been ongoing – Nikolaev had already lost several hours.
Tomorrow, the DAKAR participants will face a serious change in road conditions – the special stage from Ha’il to Riyadh will lead the field to the sands and dune massifs. Those who have experience driving in desert conditions will have a significant advantage.


Hubert Auriol, the legendary DAKAR winner and former sports director of the Paris-Dakar race, visited the bivouac in Ha’il today. The French racer is the first driver who managed to win the DAKAR on both a motorcycle and a car. Before him, no one could do it. In 1981 and 1983, he became the rally marathon winner on the BMW R80G/S motorcycle, and in 1992 he won the race in the Citroen ZX Rallye Raid.


Sergey Vyazovich, International Master of Motorsports of the Republic of Belarus, head of the MAZ-SPORTauto team, crew No. 503 driver,
“We drove carefully during the first part of the stage by the stones. At the second part of it we didn’t see anyone; we drove alone and for a long time and wasn’t able to find our pace. Today the track has been completely different and, probably, our suspension was set up slightly “soft” – we drove with a good pace only the last 50 kilometers, because we used Benediktas Vanagas as a guide. His pace was good, and we just drove after him, everything was visible – descents, ascents, jumps. But I think that the pace was not the best. There were no punctures or problems with navigation. We saw how Van Kasteren and Huzink changed the wheels on the track. After the neutralization zone there was a sandy road that is not dangerous for the truck. But for some reason, many dangerous descents were not described in the road book. At first, we were surprised and couldn’t find our pace – most likely after the descents at the Silk Way Rally. Until we met a landmark and saw how to drive. Then we found our good pace”.

Alexey Vishnevsky, Master of Motorsports of the Republic of Belaruscrew No. 528 driver,
“There have been no problems with navigation today. It’s not clear why – it seemed that the track was good and we just were unlucky – we punctured the front right wheel at the twentieth kilometer. We changed it and drove on. And at the end there were 200 kilometers of such dunes with vegetation; a couple of moments arose when it was difficult to climb, but there was nothing very complicated. We just fed up with 200 kilometers “shaking” on the same track. It was boring”.

Alexander Vasilevsky, Candidate Master of Motorsports of the Republic of Belaruscrew No. 508 driver,
“Today there have been approximately 130 kilometers of high-speed track, and the rest was sandy. I can’t say that the sands were very steep, but very viscous. We drove non-stop, I don’t know the results now – we arrived 10 out of 15. Therefore, I think that we have a good result. We are pleased with it”. 

Stage 5 statistics
Classification after Leg 5 - Trucks
Classification after 4 Stages - All vehicles
Rally-Guide (pdf)
Summary Stage5
Download hi-rez photos of the X-RAID G-ENERGY TEAM
X-raid G-Energy: b7c3e352-074c-4f32-a0a5-e266a767827f.png   d662097e-980e-4869-aff7-d7d11565361a.png   bed5f463-5867-45e8-a9e9-0c27fc3ae12e.png   7bb66e0a-e86b-4110-8264-0c8b17053196.png
Download hi-rez photos of the MAZ-SPORTauto team
MAZ-SPORTauto:  c4c50d9e-f140-4063-b0a7-9427eb93b3ca.png    d662097e-980e-4869-aff7-d7d11565361a.png    bed5f463-5867-45e8-a9e9-0c27fc3ae12e.png   7bb66e0a-e86b-4110-8264-0c8b17053196.png
Gazpromneft Lubricants Company (Gazpromneft-SM LLC), a Gazprom Neft subsidiary specializing in the production and sale of oils, lubricants and technical fluids. Is partner of the crews of the MAZ-SPORTauto team and the X-RAID G-Energy Team led by Vladimir Vasilyev and Vitaly Evtekhov.
G-Energy is a premium brand of motor oils from Gazprom Neft, designed for the most modern European, American and Japanese cars. The unique adaptive ACF technology used in the oil allows you to enhance the necessary performance properties depending on the engine operating conditions, activating the necessary additives at the right time. Products are manufactured at the Gazpromneft-SM plant in Bari (Italy). Oils are approved by the world’s leading manufacturers (MB, VW, Renault, GM, etc.). In 2013 Gazpromneft-SM was the first company at the Russian market to produce a specialized line of 100% synthetic G-Energy Racing oils, specially designed for professional racing cars and modern sports cars. G-Energy Racing oils provide maximum engine protection against wear, as well as effectively protect its parts from the formation of deposits, maintaining operational properties even at maximum loads typical for racing.
Mobile laboratory is a unique complex that allows to make the rapid oils analysis. It is equipped with three high-tech devices: Fluid Scan IR spectrometer, xSort xRF spectrometer and MiniVisc mini viscometer.   
The Fluid Scan IR spectrometer assesses the degree of the working oil degradation compared to a sample of clean product. It measures the additive package relative depletion and the base number reduction, determines the degree of the product contamination with coolant, water, soot; determines the degree of the product nitration, oxidation, sulfation. The measured values ​​of these indicators allow to diagnose the engine systems condition and assess the degree of the product “aging”.  
The xSF xSort spectrometer shows the content of metals and abrasive contaminants (atmospheric dust) in samples of operating oil. Metals in oil are products of parts wear, indicating elements of additives.   
The viscometer allows to assess the dynamics of changes in the operating oil kinematic viscosity that, in turn, is responsible for ensuring the pressure in the lubrication system and ensuring the required thickness of the oil film on the rubbing, loaded parts. The measured parameters values​​allow to diagnose system failure and engine parts wear, to determine the presence of pollutants, to assess the reserve of the product operational properties.
Gazpromneft – Lubricants (OOO Gazpromneft-SM), a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, specializing in the production and sale of oils, lubricants and technical fluids. It was created in November 2007. Products are manufactured at 6 sites in Russia, Italy and Serbia. Total production is 600 thousand tons ofhigh-quality oils, lubricants and technical fluids per year. The Omsk Lubricants Plant (OZSM) has the most modern complex in Russia for oils mixing, filling and packaging with a total annual mixing and packing capacity of 300 thousand tons. The system of Gazpromneft - Lubricants management and its production assets complies with the requirements of international standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001, IATF 16949 and OHSAS 18001. The company products consumers are the largest industrial enterprises; the range includes 600 types of oils and lubricants for all market sectors (over 1500 commodity items). The company products have over 330 approvals from leading manufacturers: KAMAZ, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Volvo, Renault, General Motors, Cummins, MAN, ZF, Bosch Rexroth, and others. The company also manufactures and sells marine oils. Gazpromneft-SM accounts for 21% of the packaged lubricants market in Russia, and also operates in the CIS and Baltic countries, Europe, Central and Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, etc. The company products are represented in 75 countries of the world.
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For questions to MAZ-SPORTauto's crews:
Victoria Makar +375333835545
For questions to Vladimir Vasiliev:
Lina Arnautova +79219390149
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