Kamaz trucks dominate the Dakar Rally 2015

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The 36th edition of the world’s toughest rally-raid was held in South America. Kamaz trucks won in the truck category. They were powered by Liebherr
16.2L engines.

The 36th edition of the world’s toughest rally-raid was held in January 2015 across three South American countries. The 14-day test of skill, determination and vehicle reliability was flagged off from Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and culminated in the same city after passing through Chile and Bolivia. The total distance was 9,111 km and consisted of 4,580 km of special stages. Trucks had to cover 8,159 km, with the special stages aggregating 3,760 km. Divided into 13 stages, and for the first time in the history of Dakar, the rest days for cars and trucks were separate from others. The addition of marathon stages was a special feature of the 2015 edition. Out of the 63 trucks, 43 finished. The Kamaz factory achieved a hat-trick after the truck commanded by Airaat Mardeev, Aydar Belyadev and Dimitriy Svistunov dominated the second half of the rally and won two stages. The second Kamaz was under Eduard Nikolaev, Evgeny Yakovlev and Ruslan Akhmadeev, and won six stages while the team of Andrey Karginov, Andrey Mokeev and Igor Leonov made it to the third spot on the podium with a consistent performance.

 Liebherr engines power Kamaz trucks in Dakar Rally

The four trucks entered by the Kamaz Master truck racing team were powered by an 8-cylinder D9508 A7 diesel engine from Liebherr. To engineer the components to be even more reliable and at the same time, dynamic for special conditions, Liebherr worked closely with Kamaz to further develop the drive system for the Dakar Rally 2015. In the race configuration, changes were made above all, to the charge air system to achieve higher charging pressures. The consequence was optimal combustion of the injected fuel quantities whose volume has likewise been increased. Remarkably, no modifications were made to the supporting structures of the engine, such as the crankcase and engine mounting. These have already been engineered sufficiently in the standard version. Even the lubrication system was adopted completely without change since the Liebherr V8 engine is generally designed to work up to 45 degree Celsius. The engines are built at Liebherr Machines Bulle SA in Switzerland, and are distinguished by a maximum output of 1,047 hp and 4,500 Nm torque. Displacing 16.2-litres, and confirming to the rally regulations, which from 2016 limit displacement to 16.5-litres, the engines aid to accelerate from 0 to 100kmph in 10 seconds. This, despite a dry weight of about 1,400 kg in the racing version. The 8,900 kg Kamaz rally trucks reach a top racing speed of 140 kmph.

In January 2014, the Liebherr Group and Kamaz OJSC signed a contract to develop and manufacture a range of 6-cylinder diesel engines with 12-litre displacement. The engines would be tailored by Liebherr to meet specific requirements from Kamaz. The contract also included a complete solution for the construction of an engine production and assembly line as well as respective quality assurance within Kamaz’s production. The main factors for Kamaz’s decision to work with Liebherr as a development partner were, on one hand, the modern engine concept with a good power to weight ratio and, on the other, the impressive strategy to comply with the emissions directives of Euro 5 and Euro 6. Liebherr has more than 30 years of experience in the development and production of diesel engines for heavy applications and tough climatic operating conditions. The engines are part of a comprehensive programme that entails development, design and manufacture within Liebherr’s components division. Among these are high performing components in the areas of mechanical, hydraulic, and electric drive and control technology for diesel and gas engines; injection systems, axial piston machines, hydraulic pumps and motors, hydraulic cylinders, oversized bearings, gearboxes and winches, electric machines, switchgear as well as electric and electronic components and systems. Diverse areas of application include cranes, construction machinery, mining equipment, marine equipment, wind turbines, decentralised energy systems, vehicle and agricultural technology, and aerospace and traffic engineering.